I just returned from an inspiring?ANAC conference (Association of Nurses in AIDS Care). It is always fun, fabulous and totally energizing to be around ANAC members, who are deeply committed to stopping AIDS, supporting people living with AIDS and building an amazing community of caregivers, educators and advocates.Former PHR Health Action AIDS Campaign Director Pat Daoust was honored with one of ANAC's most prestigious awards, the Public Serive Award, for her three decades in AIDS care and her amazing advocacy work through Health Action AIDS. Her acceptance speech is below. In it she thanks all of you, the campaign's supporters, for your deep commitment to stopping AIDS. Read and be inspired!
First of all, thank you very much. I am extremely humbled and honored by this recognition, especially because it comes from this organization—ANAC—my fellow nurses.When I received word that I would be the recipient of the Public Service Award, the letter noted that this is in large part an acknowledgment of the work accomplished as Director of the Health Action AIDS Campaign while at PHR. While I am extremely proud of the campaigns’ successes, I am the first to emphasize that without our coalition partners and the commitment of our members—particularly the thousands of nurses both here in the US and abroad—we would never been able to reach our goals!
- Wen we called upon you to write or sign on to letters to members of congress calling for the repeal of the HIV travel ban.
- When we asked you to set up in-district meeting with your representatives to help educate them on the importance of women’s rights and the need to integrate FP and reproductive health care with HIV service.
- Whenever we held summits or organized hill meetings to advocate for US investment in health systems and health workers in the developing world.
- Whenever we urged op-eds or LTEs that addressed human rights or the right to health for the most vulnerable including IDUs , MSN or women and children at risk for HIV.
You never let us down. You always rallied above and beyond.The powerful voice of the nurse truly made a significant impact. The wins for AIDS, human rights and global health could never have happened with out the expertise, the dedication, the passion and the commitment of the largest group of health professional in the world. NURSES!!!Our size as a profession—comprising close to 80% of all health professionals in the world—gives us power but also holds us responsible, obligates us to be advocates for those who voices are not hear. Our work is not done: appropriations for PEFAR and global health is still an unknown and with 70% of those in need of treatment lacking access and infection rates continuing to grown we have to keep our mission on the front pages and at the top of the USG agenda.In closing I want to acknowledge and thank Deb von Z for nominating me for this award, the ANAC board for approving the nomination, my mentor Larry Kessler, the founder of the AIDS Action Committee in Mass, who first taught me about advocacy and? the entire HAA team at? PHR? and, last, my biggest supporter, ?my husband Paul, who for years has put up with my international travel, my long absences and my obsessive behavior. He has never once complained.Thank you all once again.