Rhode Island Chapter

Rhode Island Chapter

(Last Updated 2007)

In November, 2002, after attending the National Conference, Anne Sliney and Cindy Macleod contacted Trish Cioe about starting a RI Chapter of ANAC.  Cindy had already contacted Peter Oates, the Chapters Chair at the National level to inquire about the process.

Anne, Cindy and Trish met on a weekday at lunchtime at Olga’s Cup and Saucer, a local restaurant to discuss this venture.

All three were working in Providence in the HIV Nursing field and were excited about having a local professional organization that would address their needs as caregivers in this challenging field, provide educational opportunities to this group of nursing professionals, and act as a resource to others within the state.

After the first initial meeting, they decided to invite a few other key nursing professionals to join the group working together to form the Chapter.

On January 15, 2003, Cindy, Anne and Trish met at Gregg’s Restaurant in Providence along with Stacy Chapman, Patricia Threats, Meg Mock, Linda Lebreux, and Carol Browning.
At this meeting, led by Cindy, ANAC’s mission was discussed.  The vote to begin a Chapter was unanimous!

The general requirements for Chapter formation were presented by Cindy and the rest of the group decided it was important to start spreading the word within each of their places of employment to generate interest and energy.

On March 3, 2003, the group met at the Adesso restaurant in Providence. The program was sponsored by Kristina Moore from Abbott Pharmaceuticals and Joe Holshoe, from Glaxo Wellcome – both sponsors were ANAC members already.  The purpose of this meeting was to invite those HIV nurses and nurse practitioners from the area to get involved and support the effort.  Cindy presented the requirements for Chapter formation, the benefits including a certification program for ACRN certification, and HIV nursing education.  Ideas and comments from the group were solicited and an interest survey was distributed to those in attendance.  It was decided to have a larger program in May and Trish Cioe volunteered to plan this event.

On March 17, 2003, the same group of nursing professionals met to discuss and vote on the specifics regarding the Leadership of the RI Chapter.  It was decided that the Board would consist of a President, a President-Elect, a Secretary/Treasurer, and 3 Directors-at-Large.  All positions would be 1 year with the exception of the Secretary/Treasurer.  Also, the President-Elect would continue after the initial year to serve as President for the following year.

On April 24, 2003, a brief meeting was held at the RI Department of Health.  At that meeting, the Chapter in Formation Declaration was completed and forwarded to National ANAC.  Ten signatures were required to begin this process.  Cindy also presented a timeline to Chapter Charter and the election was scheduled for September, 2003.

In May, 2003, an event was held at the Gatehouse Restaurant in Providence.  This was very successful with 35 nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse educators and nurse researchers attending!  The event was sponsored by Joyce Brousseau of Bristol Meyers Squibb.  Our presenter, Lyn Stevens, the Treasurer from ANAC National, was instrumental in fueling the energy that had already been generated in this effort.  She shared with us the initial successes and challenges she faced in beginning her own local Chapter in New York.  She gave advice regarding Chapter ByLaws, Leadership, Fundraising and Programs.  The Rhode Island Chapter was off and running!  After this program, we were further energized and excited about our new venture!!

Linda Lebreaux volunteered to Chair the Nominating Committee through the summer.  A letter calling for Nominations was mailed to all National members living in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. After nominations were received, an election was held in September, 2003 by mail and the results were as follows:
•    Patricia Cioe, MS, RNP – President 2003-2004
•    Anne Sliney, RN, ACRN – President-Elect 2003-2004
•    Laura Mercer, RN, MSN – Secretary/Treasurer, 2003-2005

In October 2003, the 3 newly elected officers met at RI Hospital to complete the requirements for Chapter Charter.  This included the adoption of RI Chapter Bylaws and appointment of the Directors-at-Large for the Board of Directors for the 2003-2004 year.
Trish Cioe contacted Peter Oates and forwarded the required documents for approval by the National Board.

At the National Conference on November 22, 2003 in New York, the founding members of the RI Chapter attended the Awards Luncheon. On behalf of the RI membership, Trish Cioe accepted the Charter for the RI Chapter.  It was the culmination of an active year of planning and the beginning of what would become a vital organization in the field of HIV Nursing Professionals in the State of Rhode Island!

2004 was a year with continued momentum for the new Rhode Island Chapter!
After selecting 3 Directors-at-Large, Carol Browning, Stacey Chapman, and Cindy Macleod, the Executive Committee began a year filled with activities and new ventures.

During this year, 4 Dinner Meetings were held addressing such topics as Addiction Treatment in the HIV+ Individual focusing on Methadone Maintenance treatment and Buprenorphine treatment.  Dr Michael Stain and Dr Steven Peligian, both Providence physicians specializing in Substance Abuse were Guest Speakers.  Later that year, Dr Lynn Taylor, the Director of the Miriam Hospital Co Infection Clinic gave an excellent presentation on the treatment of Hepatitis C in the HIV+ patient.

In June of 2004, a Day of Education for Nurses was held at the Providence Marriott.  This program was attended by 50 Nurses and Nurse Practitioners from the Rhode Island and Massachusetts area.    Dennis Thomas from the Brown University AIDS Program (BRUNAP) in conjunction with Carol Browning, Chairperson of the Education Committee, Laura Mercer, and Trish Cioe planned and coordinated the event.  There were 6 outstanding Physician and Nurse speakers during the day and CEU’s were awarded.

A Rhode Island ANAC team was formed for the Annual AIDS Walk sponsored AIDS Project RI in June, 2004.  Twelve members participated in the 5K walk and donated $1000 to this worthy cause – the team was recognized as one of the top fundraisers that day!

To culminate a year filled with successful programs, in September, 2004, a Certification Prep Course was held.  This program was planned and coordinated by Stacy Chapman, the Chairperson of the Certification Committee.  Five sessions were held, once weekly, and during these 2 hour classes a speaker addressed a topic pertinent to the exam.  Several members of the Executive Board led sessions.  

In November, 2004, the Board members attended the National Conference in New Orleans and at this time leadership was turned over to the new Board for 2005.  At this time, Anne Sliney assumed the position of President, Donna Needham assumed the President Elect role and Laura Mercer continued on for her second year as Secretary/Treasurer. Directors-at-Large were Carol Browning, Pat Threats and Ed Mackler.

2005 was another year of growth for RI ANAC.  The bylaws were revised to separate the position of Secretary/Treasurer.  Laura Mercer continued as Treasurer, and Pat Costa assumed the role of Secretary.  In order to encourage nurses to pursue ACRN certification, the Board of Directors voted to reimburse the cost of the exam to any member who successfully achieved certification. Additional accomplishments included development of a website by Andrew Komensky, and design of a RI ANAC logo.

Monthly board meetings were held, including a board meeting that was open to all members. To encourage attendance at the meeting, refreshments were served and a registration to ANAC National Conference was raffled off to non-board members in attendance.  

During this year, quarterly education dinner meetings were held at which CEU’s were offered.  Topics included “Compassion Fatigue”, presented by Donna White, “The Impact of Substance, Abuse particularly Crystal Meth, on HIV Care and Treatment”, presented by Dr. Kevin Kapila, “HIV & Women: Current Issues”, presented by Ann Morris, MD, and “Challenges of Special Populations”. Another meeting featured three topics presented by RI ANAC members:   “HIV/AIDS Nursing in the Global Setting”, presented by Anne Sliney RN ACRN, “Everybody’s business:  medication adherence in the HAART era”, presented by Cindy MacLeod RN ACRN, and “Buprenorphine”, presented by Trish Cioe MS, RNP. 

In June 2005, under the direction of Carol Browning, Chairperson of the Education Committee, our second annual Day of Education was held at the Providence Marriot.  The title of the program was “Challenges of Special Population” and included topics such as “International HIV Issues” presented by Edward Wing, MD, “HIV in Rhode Island”, presented by Carol Browning RN, MS, BC, “Management of Co-Infected Patients”, presented by Kathleen Tummillo, MS, APRN, ANP, “HIV in the Correctional System”, by Minda Hubbard ANP, MSN, “Nutritional Challenges in HIV”, presented by Jul Gerrior, RD, LDN, and “Adolescent Adherence: Difficult Issues for a Different Age”, presented by Adele Webb, PhD, RN, ACRN, FNAP, FAAN.  The program was attended by nurses and health care professionals from Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts; CEU’s were awarded.  

In November 2005 the board members attended the ANAC National Conference held in Orlando. This was the culmination of another successful year, and the leadership was transitioned to the newly elected Board of Directors for 2006.

2006 was an exciting year of growth.  The RI ANAC officers were: Carol A. Browning - President,  Karen Burke -President-Elect, Pat Costa – Secretary, Trish Cioe – Treasurer; the Directors-at-Large were Pat Threats, Kristina Moore, and Laura Mercer.

Monthly board meetings were held in the community at agencies that work with HIV providers or clients.  This gave the Board an opportunity to visit some of the sites that otherwise they may not have had the opportunity to view.  The sites that these meetings were held were: AIDS Service Organization, local library, Health Dept and Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association which sponsors trainings in the State for HIV and drug counselors.  
In addition to our monthly meetings, we sponsored two open meetings that were part of the monthly meetings.  The year was particularly successful as it was the first year that attendance at quarterly dinner presentations showed marked improvement.    To encourage attendance at the open meetings, we had a raffle for a free membership.   The idea of the raffle was implemented at dinner meetings and the annual conference.   The items included the Core Curriculum, books, stethoscope, spa gift certificate and other items.   In addition to the array of wonderful speakers, the attendees were motivated to attend by the idea of raffling items.   

The Board worked on education presentations.    There were four successful dinner presentations and the 3rd Annual Education Conference.   The topics of the presentations included some catchy titles to enhance attendance.  The presentations with titles were: February 22, 2006 “From Prison to Plantains: Poverty and AIDS (and what we can do about it)”; April 24, 2006 “The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned about HIV in the Past Year”; HCV/HIV Coinfection:  Treating Substance Users – Addressing the Challenges; September 22, 2006 “The Elephant in the Room: Addressing Addiction and Mental Health Issues in the HIV+ Patient” our annual education day; and “non-Occupational HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis” December 6, 2006.  All presentations were filled to capacity with a waiting list for some.  

To encourage attendance “save the date” announcements were made via email approximately six weeks prior to the presentations, a formal announcement with registration form attached was sent out 4 weeks in advance and email reminders before the end date of registration were also sent.   Announcements of the presentations have been printed in the local nursing journals/paper. To promote more interest an email from the President was sent the day after presentations thanking attendees and encouraging everyone to be sure to sign up early for the next presentation.   

This year we extended our membership to non-nurses and this increased the attendance and interest at our presentations.  Many of the attendees are great supporters of ANAC and to maintain that interest, they were encouraged to join.  This has been particularly successful and word of mouth has further increased the attendance.    We obtained membership lists from other professional nurses’ organizations to include on our mailings.   This has shown great success by the strong demand for attendance.   

We work in conjunction with Brown University AIDS Program (BRUNAP).   A BRUNAP representative attends our Education Committee meetings.   This involvement has opened the door for various speakers who are connected to BRUNAP.   They have helped in CEUS application as well as our local nurse association Rhode Island Association of Rhode Island.   

In addition to providing the dinner presentations, seven of the eight board members attended the ANAC Conference in Las Vegas.    This year was the first year that that many Board members attended.   

The year proved to be a banner year with much positive feedback from the evaluations.   The Board members all contributed strongly to making this a very successful and impressive year.  
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