Greater Cincinnati Chapter

Greater Cincinnati Chapter

(Last Updated 2007)


 “Nurses’ group mobilizes fight against AIDS epidemic,” were the headlines of an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer May 18, 1994, one year after these same nurses united forces to begin the formation of a local chapter of  the Association of  Nurses in  AIDS Care (ANAC) in 1993.  Jarlath Black, Wanda Cotton, Bonnie Jackson, Jill Leonard, Judy Sanchez (now Judy McElwee), and Sandy Woods were working at the AIDS Treatment Center of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.  Pat Campbell, Jennifer Vonhamme, and Sharon Wilcox worked on a special care unit for persons with HIV/AIDS at the University Hospital.  Recognizing the need for mutual support,  personal growth, and community education and collaboration, these women sent out letters in January of 1993 inviting nurses from various care providing services to a meeting on February 9, 1993 to discuss the formation of a local chapter of ANAC. 

The initial Cincinnati Area ANAC meeting was held on February 9, 1993 with the following registered nurses in attendance:  Jarlath Black, Alicia Blythe-Maow, Pat Cambell, John Collins, Wanda Cotton, Diane Daria, Bonnie Jackson, Jill Leonard, Linder Miller, Judy Sanchez (now Judy McElwee), Jennifer Vonhamme, Sharon Wilcox, and Sandy Woods.  Jeff Trees joined at the next meeting in April.  These fourteen individuals served as the Founding Chapter Members of what would soon be the Greater Cincinnati Local Chapter of ANAC.  The first officers were:  Wanda Cotton, President, Jill Leonard, Vice-President, Sharon Wilcox, Treasurer, and Diane Daria, Secretary.  Bylaws were approved by these members on July 7, 1993.   Goals were immediately set to: 1) to expand membership by each current member contacting organizations within the Greater Cincinnati area, 2) provision of peer support, 3) enhance the professional growth of its members and other health care professionals caring for persons with HIV/AIDS, and 4) to provide community education.  On September 30, 1993 the Cincinnati Chapter received noticed that they were awarded their chapter charter by the Board of Directors of the ANAC.  They were now officially the Greater Cincinnati Local Chapter of the ANAC.  The Chapter Charter was accepted by one of its members Tammy Powell, at the ANAC Annual Conference on November 2, 1993 in Los Angeles.

Meetings were held monthly for the first two years.  In 1993 and 1994 efforts were directed towards increasing membership, fund raising, participation in AIDS community events and education.  Membership efforts included posters, articles in newspapers, talks to home health and hospice agencies, contact with hospital infection control staff, and a recruitment questionnaire.  Membership increased to approximately 18 however not all attending every meeting.  A chapter account was started on May 3, 1993 with $100.00 donated by Upjohn. Proceeds from the following fund raising events: “Younique Hair Salon,” Michael Windholtz’s Planner, and AIDS T-shirt sale brought the account up to $1640.  Community involvement included Gay Pride Day,  AIDS Walk, Candlelight Vigil, and displays on World AIDS Day.  The first educational program was provided on October 6, 1993 by Ken Skahan, MD, a physician at the AIDS Treatment Center, who gave an overview of the Berlin Conference.  Educational programs continued to be a major focus of the chapter. 

Throughout the year of 1995 the chapter continued its efforts specifically toward increased membership and professional growth through educational programs.  In October, 1995 the first CEU program was provided for its members during a chapter meeting.  Despite recruitment efforts, new members were few.  Low meeting attendance, lack of new members, and personal issues of active members resulted in the chapter becoming inactive during 1996 and 1997.

On February 12, 1998 a meeting was held to “Rekindle the Fire.”  Tammy Powell, President-Elect initiated the meeting for the purpose of deciding if there was a need and desire for the local chapter to remain active.  A unanimous positive vote was given by the seven nurses present, Kelly Farrell, Diane Fischesser, Linda McCaig, Franette Hyc SC, Linda Lee, Jill Leonard, and Tammy Powell. Efforts were successfully set forth for elections and future meetings. Tammy Powell was elected President for 1998 and continued on through 1999.   Areas of interest to be addressed included, HIV nursing education, nursing research, peer support, and organizational networking.  This became the thrust for the year.  In the Spring twelve nurses of the Cincinnati Chapter prepared for and received their ANAC Certification.  On October 10, 1998 a retreat for caregivers titled “Our Caregiving Journey: Caring for Ourselves” was sponsored by the local chapter and held at the Cincinnati Nature Center.  It provided opportunities for attendees “to receive tools for self-awareness, self-care, and healing, as well as ample time fore rest and rejuvenation.”  The full day event was attended by 14 members.  During 1998 and through 1999 the local chapter started obtaining the sponsorship of pharmaceutical companies for dinner presentations or refreshments during educational programs.  HIV community involvement continued through participation in the AIDS Walk, Gay Pride Day, the Candlelight Vigil and Lifefest.

As the local chapter enter the year 2000, it was more stable in membership and continued so for the next seven years with it membership averaging between 16 and 21. A minimum of 4 meetings were held a year with educational offerings providing continuing education credits. Attendance at these meetings averages from 25 to 35 healthcare professionals from various fields, nurses, pharmacist, counselors, and social workers.  Providing HIV related presentations on topics identified as important to attendees remains one of the major focuses of the chapter.  In 2003 the chapter started working with and received co-sponsorship from the University of Cincinnati Local Performance Site of the Pennsylvania MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC).  Their expertise in programming and their connection with known speakers has been a great assistance to the chapter. Starting in September of 2007 the local chapter in collaboration with AETC has been offering an HIV Nursing Review Course of 5 sessions each providing 2.6 continuing education credits, to assist nurses preparing for the ANAC Certification and other nurses who simply wanted an over view of HIV.

Finding financial resources continues to be a challenge as it has in the past.  Financial assistance through co-sponsorship by pharmaceutical companies had been extremely helpful in the past but had become more difficult to obtain since the birth of the PhRMA CODE.  However even prior to that in 2000 the chapter started requesting donations from attendees and received anywhere from $25 to $120 a meeting but eventually only averaged about $40 a meeting.  Split the pot was started in 2001 at the local chapter meeting and it continues to average $50 to $80 dollars with winner and ANAC receiving half of what is collected.  Since AETC has been co-sponsoring the educational programs they have also helped defray some costs.  In 2004 the local chapter started charging $10 to non-ANAC members which also financially helpful.  As an incentive to increase membership in 2004 the local chapter started providing a special offer to new members who would join ANAC usually at the last meeting of the year.  The local chapter would pay $30 toward their membership.  The new member would only be paying $40 towards their membership and would not have to pay for attendance at that year’s educational programs.  That remained a good deal for both the new member and the organization; however, the average membership remained around 18 members.  In 2006 the local chapter started having a display at HIV related and non-HIV related health programs to introduce other health professional to ANAC.  Maintaining and increasing membership, as well as finding new ways to help cover costs, continue to be challenges that the local chapter will probably always have to strive to meet.  However, as long as there is a need the local chapter will continue its efforts to enhance the services of care to persons living with HIV/AIDS and to continue educating the community about HIV/AIDS.

Much credits needs to be directed to the local chapter leadership, especially its Presidents for their many years of dedicated services with special recognition to Madeline Bronaugh and Linda McCaig for the efforts they extended during the years of 2001 through 2006 individually and collectively. 

•    May 1993- Dec. 1994    Wand Cotton
•    Jan.  1995- Jan. 1998     Jill Leonard
•    Feb. 1998- Dec.1999     Tammy Powell 
•    Jan. 2000- Dec. 2000     Madeline Bronaugh
•    Jan. 2001- Dec. 2001     Linda McCaig
•    Jan. 2002-  Dec. 2006    Madeline Bronaugh and Linda McCaig as Co-Presidents
•    Jan. 2007-  Dec. 2007    Franette Hyc, SC
•    Jan. 2008-                      Tamar Canaan

We thank them and feel confident that someone will always step to the call of leadership so that the local chapter can continue its endeavors, as long as the need exists in the field of HIV.
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