Edna Yilma is a nursing student at Quinnipiac University with a passion for health equity and holistic care. An immigrant-generation college student, she saw healthcare disparities and shortages impact her loved ones every day. She believed that coming to the U.S. would solve all these problems, and that in one of the richest countries in the world, the system would help all patients equally. However, she soon found that this was not the case. In 2011, her father had the first of what would be many strokes. She watched as her mother lost everything trying to manage his care and medical bills. Through her own life experiences and my continued nursing education, she has learned the importance of health equity.
Last summer she had the opportunity to work with Johnson and Johnson's diversity, equity, and inclusion team to shape diversity trainings, assist with external equity research, and conduct data analysis on employee membership data. In that role, she networked and made long-lasting connections, truly seeing the value of mentorship. She then went on to work in project management with a focus on health disparity initiatives, where she offered insights to guide the development of the new J&J minority nursing student mentorship program and analyzed member data to shape future events. She hopes to share her experience and interest in health equity and to make a difference for others in this area. An upcoming Oncology Flynn Fellow, Edna is now working towards her dream of propelling the compassionate care she saw nurses provide when her father was ill. She believes that nurses are the heart of healthcare, and that their impact is critical in improving health outcomes.
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