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COVID-19 and Substance Use Disorder: Colliding on the World Stage
- Characterize multiple pandemics within the COVID pandemic including SUD
- Describe national and international nursing responses to prevent and address SUD exacerbation during COVID and beyond
- Identify COVID related mental health risks among nurses and other healthcare professionals and actions to promote better mental health and wellbeing
As the COVID-19 pandemic surges on across the world, this stubborn virus has ignited multiple pandemics affecting people in unanticipated ways. The effects of isolation, economic devastation, stress, fear, death and suffering have affected even the strongest of mind, body and spirit, including nurses and other frontline workers. As social structures crumbled, addiction epidemics moved in. Nurses have responded to curb unanticipated consequences for those most vulnerable such as unintentional overdoses and suicides, and increased availability of virtual resources and medications. A focused nursing response globally is helping address the COVID pandemic stressors most affecting nurses and healthcare workers—all important steps to promoting mental health and preventing substance misuse as a way to alleviate negative feelings. Nurses are a force for healing the world and are looking beyond the current pandemic to improving health and achieving sustainable futures globally.
Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Dr. Pamela Cipriano is the Dean and Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing in Charlottesville, VA. Prior to this appointment, she served two terms as the president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the largest nurses organization in the United States representing the interests of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses from 2014 through 2018. She currently serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Council of Nurses.
Dr. Cipriano has extensive experience as an academic medical center executive and her career is marked by a focus on improving the quality and safety of services and the work environment for all staff. Cipriano’s advocacy for the nursing profession is well-recognized. She is known nationally and internationally as a strong advocate for quality, growing nursing’s influence on health care policy, and leading efforts to advance the role and visibility of nurses.
As a member of the Steering Committee for the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, she has focused on interventions for COVID induced stressors and mental health relief for front line workers. She has also contributed to reducing regulatory burden and revamping electronic documentation to relieve clinicians of unnecessary work.
Among her many honors and awards for exceptional leadership and contributions to the profession, she was the Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute of Medicine in 2010-11 and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, earning its Healthcare Leader Award in 2018. She served for 8 years as the inaugural editor of American Nurse Today, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. She was named among the “Top 100 Most Influential People in (U.S.) Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine for four consecutive years (2015 to 2018), and also in 2015 as one of its “Top 25 Women in Healthcare.”
- PhD, Executive Nursing Administration, University of Utah College of Nursing
- MN, Nursing, University of Washington
- BSN, Nursing, American University
- Diploma, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania