Geraldine Gorman


Inspiration for Activism Part II –

I had the good fortune to attend the nursing activism think tank last summer in Amherst, MA. Since then, here is how activism unfolded thus far in 2019:

  • The introductory course I taught to our graduate entry students last fall fragmented along political and racial divides. It happened so quickly it caught me off guard. I tried many ways to bridge the chasm, including bringing in a facilitator to conduct a restorative justice peace circle. I will be metabolizing those lessons for a long time to come. It left me breathless.
  • In late Oct/early November I joined a 23 person peace delegation to Israel/Palestine. It was a bracing immersion into the necessity of what we so breezily call ‘intersectionality.’ I was stunned by the bravery, fortitude and persistence of lives lived in true non-violent resistance.
  • At my College we continue our work in Cook County Jail, with the men and women detained within a foul system and with the men and the women work within it.
  • I took restorative justice training in circle keeping and am itchy to try it out in the jail, in the community, in my College classrooms and conference rooms.
  • I designed and am now facilitating an elective course in Primary Prevention of War and Peace Promotion.
  • When I can, I travel north to an interdenominational monastery run by women to relearn the essential value of stillness.

Geraldine Gorman teaches public health nursing, cultural fluency and ethics and the grief, loss and dying course in the hospice/palliative care certificate program. She has also designed a primary prevention of war elective. She is a member of the American Public Health Association and through the Peace Caucus, is a founding member of the Primary Prevention of War group. She is an advocate for the inclusion of the humanities in nursing education and practice.

 

 

Marlaine Smith (1950 – )


Inspiration for Activism Part II –

I have been an activist for the autonomy of nursing as a professional discipline. When I was 26, a young faculty member, I led a “sit-in” in the President of the University’s office to protest naming a pharmacy professor as Interim Dean of the School of Nursing. I have a letter of insubordination in my file and I remember several faculty members informing me , “your career is over”! Since that time I’ve published articles that have challenged the status quo in nursing.

Last year after the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida our students and faculty were in shock and grief. Activism and advocacy are expressions of caring, and as dean I called for a meeting of faculty, staff and students. We decided to form an activist group called Nurses Advocating for Peace and Safety (NAPS). NAPS took action to influence our legislators through letter writing campaigns, marched in the March for our Lives and the March for Families, held active shooter and shelter-in-place training, increased awareness about current gun laws not being enforced, and offered holistic care to those suffering from the trauma of the violence. NAPS is still very active.

On February 27th we are holding a forum, From Tragedy to Transformation: Reflections and Lessons Learned from the MSD Tragedy”. A parent of one of the victims, an activist himself, and a student survivor and her parent will speak with Q&A focused on continuing action.

Download a flyer for the February 27th event!  

Robin Cogan in the news – #NoMoreEmptyDesks


Jerry Soucy shares program on end-of-life care


Professionals in Oncology, Palliative, and End of Life Care
Join us a Free Film Screening and Approved Continuing Education Program
 
Sunday, February 10, 2019
9:30 – 11:30 am
 
The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden
Cancer Support Center
145 Bolton Road, Harvard, MA 01451
See the award-winning documentary End Game, and a discussion led by Brianne Carter, MTS,LICSW,OSW-C, and Jerry Soucy, RN,CHPN.
Space is limited. Registration required.


Call 978-456-3532
email kelly@healinggardensupport.org

Download your FREE color brochure NOW! (PDF)

Links to the film and reviews
IndieWire “Oscar 2019 Best Documentary shortlist.”
Review, Rotten Tomatoes – “End Game manages to transcend its genre peers and deliver something truly special and unique.”
Review, Stream it or Skip it? – “Stream it. It’s heavy stuff, sure, but it’s beautifully made – and we could all use a little reminding of how precious life is…”
Review, Life Matters Media – “Executive producer Shoshana Ungerleider, a hospice and palliative care physician…said she hopes audiences are empowered with information about hospice and palliative medicine so they can make better, more informed decisions when facing death.”
Review, Tricycle Magazine – “…the documentary invites us to participate in the penetrating intimacy of dying as seen from the perspectives of patients, their loved ones, and healthcare practitioners. We meet Kym, Bruce, Pat, Mitra, and Thekla at the ends of their lives… We don’t want these people to die, but they will.”
This Program is Presented in Partnership
The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center is the premiere provider of integrative oncology care in Massachusetts, located on 8 acres of serene woodlands in Harvard, MA. Our support groups, expressive and integrative therapies, and individual counseling services aim to optimize the quality of life for all those who are affected by cancer – men, women, and their caregivers – regardless of cancer type, prognosis, or financial ability to pay for services.

Good Shepherd Community Care provides care, treatment, support, and education to patients, families, clinicians, and the community facing serious illness, end of life, grief, and loss through its culturally-informed hospice, palliative care, bereavement, and educational programs.

Jerry Soucy, RN, CHPN is a nurse activist with a practice serving patients, families, caregivers, clinicians, and the community. He is experienced in multiple clinical settings, including specialty intensive care at a major medical center, outpatient hemodialysis, and community hospice. Jerry is certified in hospice and palliative nursing and blogs about serious illness and end of life.

Brenda Kucirka (1961 – )


Inspiration for Activism Part II –

  • Tireless Advocate for marginalized and vulnerable populations in the Chester PA community; Assistant Professor at Widener University, Chester PA (see Widener Magazine 2016 — Vol. 26, No. 1)
  • Nurse educator and Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist with a passion for social justice and decreasing stigma and oppression. I strive to educate nurses who embrace the role of change agent and advocate willing to step into the space between call and response with eyes and ear wide open.
  • Recipient of the Widener University 2018 Civic Engagement Award
  • Trained as an Inside Out Instructor in 2015
  • Teaches a Social Justice and Advocacy Inside Out Prison Exchange Course at SCI Chester, a medium security prison in Chester, PA. (see photo below of the the outside student cohort from the Widener University School of Nursing Fall 2018 Social Justice & Advocacy Inside Out Prison Exchange Course – used by permission)
  • Advocated for college credits to be awarded to incarcerated individuals enrolled in the Inside Out Prison Exchange course.
  • Originally a community-based service learning course, The Advocacy and Social Justice service learning course was redesigned as an Inside Out Prison Exchange Course in 2017. The course has been recognized as a high impact teaching practice that has was presented at the NLN Summit in 2018.

MY STORY

I have always been drawn to those who are misunderstood, misrepresented and stigmatized. I find my calling to be one of bearing witness, stepping into the spaces and places that society finds unacceptable or unworthy. I am always inspired by and grateful to those who share their stories with me.

My activism has grown out of a deep concern for issues of social justice and a desire to support marginalized populations in Chester PA by confronting injustice and health disparities. I am moved by the power of one’s narrative & seek to provide a venue for validating and valuing the voice of vulnerable and marginalized populations. My work in the community and with students has been focused on facilitating the development of self-compassion and self-empowerment

My work focuses on social justice as a fundamental human right that is central to nursing and the core values of nursing. It has been my privilege to be in a position in which I have earned the respect of students, colleagues and my community through my work in the area of social justice. I strive to inspire those I encounter to find their voice and to use their voice to advocate for self and others. I believe the work I am doing will have a ripple effect as students enter the profession with a sense of compassion for self and others as well as the intention to seek social justice for those they care for and their communities.

VOLUNTEERISM AND CIVIC ENGAGMENT:

  • Volunteers at Threshold of Delaware County teaching decision making skills to incarcerated individuals
  • Volunteers at City Team Ministries in Chester PA providing staff supervision and group psychotherapy and psychoeducation for men in the Rescue and Recovery Program
  • Volunteers at the State Correctional Institute in Chester PA facilitating mental health and wellness seminars for men in the Transitional Housing Unit as well as those serving juvenile life sentences and life sentences.
  • Advisory Board member for Providence House, a Clubhouse providing psychosocial rehabilitation in the community. Established a partnership with the Widener School of Nursing and Providence House to provide psychoeducation and an annual health and wellness fair for clubhouse members.
  • Serves on the City of Chester’s Reentry Committee

The outside student cohort from the Widener University School of Nursing Fall 2018 Social Justice & Advocacy Inside Out Prison Exchange Course.