Associate Professor Carole Myers was on a very productive sabbatical in the spring of 2017 to explore opportunities to use social and other media to advance and integrate her policymaking activities. Her professional interests center around access to high-quality, cost-effective health care and the contributions of nurses. She said, “the time spent on my sabbatical was a great investment…and that investment is paying dividends.”
Myers was appointed as a Senior Fellow in the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at the George Washington University School of Nursing. She was also selected from a competitive national pool of candidates to participate in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2017 Faculty Policy Intensive. Both opportunities provide Myers with a platform to further enhance and extend her expertise, skills, and influence while enlarging her network and experiences.
During her sabbatical and since, Myers has used a variety of communication modalities to support her scholarly and advocacy work. She had a policy-related editorial published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and a second-author manuscript published in the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics. She also has submitted two first-author publications, and has one second-author manuscript and a couple book chapters in-progress. Additionally, she has published OpEds in The Nashville Medical News, Knoxville News Sentinel, Huffington Post, and the Tennessean. Myers has also been interviewed by WalletHub and participated in a Facebook live event with IndieJourno.
Myers is most encouraged by the launch and growth of HealthConnections, a radio show on people, health, and policy on WUOT-FM, the Knoxville NPR affiliate. HealthConnections episodes air during Morning Edition at 5:50 and 7:50 am and at 5:50 pm on All Things Considered on alternate Tuesdays. Recording of past episodes are available on-demand via live stream. Myers is currently developing a podcast series which will feature the stories of Tennesseans burdened with issues related to access to health care. Myers is also blogging on HealthCetera, tweeting to advance her work, and maintaining a website devoted to HealthConnections.
Myers and collaborators from the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center are finalizing an analysis of the economic impact of granting full practice authority to advanced practice registered nurses in Tennessee. The report will be disseminated in early 2018.
The year has been especially busy as Myers has been engaged in discussions about the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid and how the programs support access to care. Myers has been active in the community offering her insight on national health reform at various town hall meetings and other events across the state. Myers advocates for assuring that all Americans have access to needed health care services at a price they and the country can afford. She promotes finding equitable solutions to the problems we face today in the country regarding the delivery of health care services. Her efforts were recognized when she was recently selected as a Rural Health Hero by the Tennessee Justice Center.
Myers classifies herself as “fortunate” and is quick to respond to those who indicate she has abandoned her nursing practice. She says, “Caring is central to the profession of nursing. There are a lot of ways to care for people and populations. I care by advocating for changes that support health, health care, and the practice of nursing.”