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Nurse practitioners convene

Delegates at the North Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association (NANPA) Clinical Symposium celebrated their 20th birthday with a ribbon cutting. (CONTRIBUTED)
Delegates at the North Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association (NANPA) Clinical Symposium celebrated their 20th birthday with a ribbon cutting. (CONTRIBUTED)

HUNTSVILLE – Approximately 300 delegates from Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi convened for the 20th annual North Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association (NANPA) Clinical Symposium.

The nurse practitioners gathered at the Huntsville Marriott on Sept. 25. In Alabama, a nurse practitioner has completed training to work as an advanced practice nurse who provides health care services similar to those of a physician. Nurse practitioners improve access to safe, high-quality, cost-effective health care.

“Get Into the Groove of Healthcare” was the 2015 symposium’s theme. The look was “complete with tie-dyed tablecloths, smiley face balloons and Gerber daises. We even had many ‘hippies’ in attendance,” who wore bell-bottom jeans, leather fringe and paisley, Caroline ‘Kari’ Kingsley said.

Kingsley is an otolaryngology nurse practitioner with Huntsville Ear, Nose & Throat P.C.

The association celebrated its 20th birthday with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville-Madison County. “This year also marked the 50th year of nurse practitioners,” Kingsley said. “We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and celebrated with birthday cake.”

During presentations, Cindy Cooke earned the “Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award.” Cooke serves as president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner.

Dr. Neeta Kohli-Dang with Huntsville Ear, Nose, and Throat P.C. was named “Physician Supporter of the Year” for her outstanding endorsement of nurse practitioners and for hosting the Joan Williamson NANPA Scholarship Benefit.

The association “has worked tirelessly to endow the first-ever University of Alabama in Huntsville scholarship through the College of Nursing, named the Joan Williamson NANPA Scholarship,” Kingsley said.

During the symposium, participants heard Cooke speak on “Nurse Practitioners – What is Our Future? How Do We Lead?” Ellie Tsikalas discussed reluctant providers of primary care dealing with patients who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“Who Wins? The Bugs or the Knife” was the topic for Dr. Roni J. Najjar, who is Chief of Trauma Surgery with Huntsville Surgical Associates.

Nurse practitioners attending the symposium also heard speakers discuss obesity, women’s health, pain management and infectious diseases.

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