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Class of 2022 - Advocacy Institute Fellowship

Our one-year, flagship advocacy program empowered four nurses to lead policy-driven campaigns and pave the way for future registered nurses.

The Inaugural Advocacy Institute Fellowship Class of 2022 created and continued policy campaigns for the ANA\California across multiple topics:

  • Future of Nursing

  • Mental Health in Nursing

  • Racism in Nursing and Healthcare

  • Clean Air, Clean Water

It is through the program that these Fellows developed the skills and knowledge necessary to lead advocacy initiatives affecting legislation, regulations, and policies in California.

We thank our inaugural class for their hard work and dedication to the profession of nursing over the past year. Their contributions will be carried on by the next class of Advocacy Institute Fellows.


About Fellow Make'da Traynum MSN, RN: Make'da is a Registered Nurse who obtained an MSN - Executive Leadership with the aspiration to be a part of the force that changes healthcare policies and regulations for citizens in dire need. Her overall goal is to have a hand in pushing Healthcare equity forward by focusing on making health insurance affordable for all.

In order to best address the recommendations in the Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030, nursing organizations in California must be transparent and accountable for the work they do.

During her Fellowship, Make'da Traynum worked with coalition partner, HealthImpact - a nursing workforce development organization - on a special project aimed at how to make transparency and accountability a reality. While we can't say more about the project now, in November, Make'da wrote an op-ed "What Nurses Need to Create a Shared Future of Nursing Agenda" that detailed what nursing organizations must do to create sustainable change.

Make'da also used her gained knowledge when she was invited to a legislative policy-making series on how nurses could advance FON Report Recommendation 2.1. There she discussed how nurses' are uniquely qualified to offer expertise on health equity and SDOH in policy conversations.


About Fellow Carolyn Dueñas MBA, RN, RNC-OB: Carolyn has a diverse background in women's healthcare, bedside nursing, and entrepreneurial roles. She earned an Executive MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Miami School of Business. Carolyn most recently worked as a Case Navigator for AM Trace supporting state and local COVID-19 Contact Tracing programs.

Mental health in nursing is a public health crisis, and it is pushing our profession to its limits. The prolonged impacts of anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicide, and more are having lasting consequences that must be addressed now.

To start this campaign, Carolyn Dueñas first hosted the Mental Health in Nursing Panel: Uncovering Barriers to Access. Here she asked questions from an expert panel to uncover the biggest barriers impeding nurses' access to mental health services and solutions.

She then compiled a wide array of information on mental health services and solutions marketed to nurses over the course of the next year. The result of that synthesis was the Analysis: 24 Nursing Mental Health Services and Solutions 2022. This analysis is meant to serve as a starting point for nursing staff, managers, executives, and advocates better to understand the breadth of mental health offerings, as well as help them evaluate which services or solutions may be right for them based on several factors including cost, category, features, and implementation.

Since the end of Carolyn's Fellowship in March, she has been featured in podcasts and several media outlets.


About Fellow Carter Todd MS, MBA, RN, CCRN: Carter is a nurse leader and community organizer with a passion to improve healthcare delivery. Carter currently serves as President of the Capitol City Black Nurses Association and Nurse Shift Manager at Kaiser Roseville Hospital.

As nurses, we are obligated to first address the systemic racism within our own nursing profession. Only then can we hope to adequately and comprehensively address the larger issue of racism in healthcare.

Involved since the initial dialogue forum in 2020 that started the Racism in Nursing and Healthcare Campaign, Carter Todd's Fellowship had a different starting point than the other Fellows. Carter joined ANA\California Racism in Healthcare Workgroup to advise on the creation of our Racism in Nursing Assessments and Action Plans, as well as an analysis of the data generated from two case studies.

The true success of Carter's Fellowship lies in his personal growth. In addition to being President of CCBNA, he was recently appointed to the Board of the National Black Nurses Association and is continuing to fight racism in healthcare.


Clean Air, Clean Water

About Fellow Alicia Catanese BSN, RN, NC- BC: Alicia is a Registered Nurse of seven years, a Holistic Nurse Consultant, and a UCSF Master's in Health Policy Applicant. Her ultimate goal is to offer healing to humanity by equalizing and equitizing the healthcare industry. She is a tea sipper, free thinker, and legacy builder.

California's Central Valley is ranked the second most polluted region in the nation. It is also home to one of the biggest agricultural scenes in the world, making it also one of the biggest transportation hubs. These combined environmental issues are creating an unsustainable future.

Alicia's Fellowship focused on clean air, clean water, and the distribution of pesticide use in vulnerable, underrepresented communities. Alicia's work led to ANA\California joining a coalition to raise awareness.

Alicia was also given the opportunity to participate in a media training with the American Lung Association - ALA's first cohort of nurses - joining others in the fight against Big Tobacco. The wide reach of her Fellowship's topic has led to so many opportunities for her under the expert guidance of her mentor, Dr. Catherine Dodd.


Interested in becoming an ANA\California Advocacy Institute Fellow?

We're looking for nursing advocates who demonstrate a passion for policy development and advocacy.

Visit our Fellowship page to apply or for more details.


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