HHS agrees to explore new name for "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day"
February 3, 2005 -- Today the Center received a letter (below) from the Department of Health and Human Services' Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health Garth Graham, MD, MPH, promising to "work diligently in exploring" a new name for the annual "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" campaign. The letter, which followed a conference call between Dr. Graham and the Center, came in response to nurses' concerns that the current name failed to reflect the vital primary care contributions of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. In his letter, Dr. Graham paid tribute to those contributions, and noted that he had directed the relevant government working groups to seek a new name that "we can all be proud of for the betterment of the populations we serve." Of course, this is not a guarantee that the name will change to something we favor, but given the challenges involved in influencing federal government conduct, we view this letter as a constructive response and a very positive development. We thank Dr. Graham and HHS for their flexibility and commitment to public health.
We would especially like to thank the 373 nurses who wrote to HHS to add the needed weight to our campaign, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), which sent a letter to HHS and encouraged us to reinvigorate our 2-year-old campaign on this issue. Thanks also to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, which sent a letter to HHS and alerted their members to join us, and to the American Nurses Association, which sent a letter to HHS.
The Center and other nursing groups that wrote to HHS joined with the ACNM's suggestion that the name be changed to "Take a Loved One for a Check Up Day." We encourage all concerned to share any ideas for a new name on our discussion board. We will relay these ideas to HHS when work begins on the name change. Please help us monitor HHS' efforts to change the name, including the 2005 campaign itself, which is now scheduled for September.