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NFA supports Senator Sherrod Brown
He has been a leader in Congress for healthcare. He believes quality, affordable health care is a right not a privilege. Throughout his career in Congress he has championed increased access to health care. His support of issues consistent with Nursing’s Agenda for Health Care Reform has made him one of nursing’s strongest allies. He fought for: lower prescription drug costs, for Medicare to negotiate with drug companies, the Inflation Reduction Act which capped insulin prices and Medicare out of pocket expenses
Catherine Dodd, Nurses for America Core Team Member, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Catherine Dodd of Santa Rosa, California, has received the prestigious Daisy Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for her life's work in health policy and politics. Nominees exemplify their dedication to nursing through mentoring, role modeling, and advocacy. Catherine not only surpassed the rigorous award criteria but has inspired nurses at all stages of their careers and in numerous healthcare settings.
Catherine traces her beginnings in policy and politics back to her role as a volunteer peer counselor at Planned Parenthood while still in high school. In college, she volunteered at the student health service and recognized the importance of Nurse Practitioners, in providing access to care. After graduation, Catherine worked with the local nurses association, learning about political advocacy and leadership at the local, state, and national levels.
While Director of the Women’s Health Center at the County Hospital, Catherine assumed the top leadership role at the statewide coalition to override Gov Deukmejian (R-CA)’s veto of Family Planning funding. Catherine's campaign skills rival the most seasoned politicians, from working on the campaign of a Sacramento nurse elected to the state Assembly, to the 2022 Mid-term elections. She was especially adept at convincing nurses to work on campaigns with her powerful words, “You can’t vote for her, but she will vote for you and for nursing.”
At the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Catherine started a local task force of nurses addressing the AIDS epidemic, which later became a national organization. In a ground-breaking achievement, she successfully advocated the substitution of the word “provider” for “physician” in defining the roles of those serving on the Health Commission to oversee Public Health in the County. A nurse became a member of the first commission. Twenty-five years later Catherine herself served as a commissioner.
In 1987, Catherine was instrumental in the history-making by encouraging the “Golden Gate Nurses Association” to interview candidates for an unexpected vacancy in a local House seat. The Association recommended that the ANA PAC endorse Nancy Pelosi., Nancy Pelosi and “Nurses for Pelosi” made history. Catherine worked part-time for Pelosi, representing her in the community and advising on health, and later as Pelosi's District Chief of Staff when Pelosi became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House.
Catherine served as the Director of Government Relations for the California Nurses Association (then a part of the American Nurses Association). Clinton appointed several nurses to his cabinet: and two nurses asnRegional Directors: Ford-Roegner (also a Nurses for America core team member) and Catherine Dodd (Region IX, covering AZ, CA, NV, HI, and the six Pacific Jurisdictions). Catherine consistently visited those regions to highlight the importance of nursing and nursing education.
Catherine was involved in countless campaigns and policy issues where she always identified herself as a nurse. She returned to graduate school and earned her PhD while working for the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Gavin Newsom, now the Governor of CA. Catherine’s past roles include: direct liaison with the Health Dept, Aging, Adult, and Disability Services; Environmental Health; Children & Family Services; Family Violence and Trafficking, and Homelessness. Catherine later ran the health insurance programs for all County employees, retirees, and their dependents. In that role, she required health plans to list advanced practice nurses on their panels, implemented a gender-affirming benefit, an adoption benefit, an infertility and surrogacy benefit, and started a wellness program.
Catherine retired early due to a diagnosis of lymphoma linked to the use of the chemical glyphosate in Roundup weed killer. After a bone marrow transplant and overcoming a challenging prognosis, Catherine began working as an environmental health consultant. She was drawn to this area at the request of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. Their increased funding for biomonitoring has become the standard for exposure measurement today. Catherine is an advisor to FACTS, Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxics Safety, and works on the unregulated area of pesticide reform, climate change, increasing funding for organic farming, fracking, lead-contaminated water, chemical contamination especially PFAS, air pollution, plastic reduction, and more.
Catherine has served and continues to serve on many boards: the nationally recognized, nurse practitioner-founded Homeless Prenatal Program, the Zen Hospice Project, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, and Commonweal-Healing Circles for Healthcare. Catherine is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, the American Holistic Nurses Association, the Oncology Nurses Association and Nurses for America.
Catherine continues to work tirelessly on the issues that threaten the health of all Americans. She truly exemplifies the purpose and meaning of the Daisy Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. We are honored that she is a core team member and brings her lifetime of extraordinary policy work to the mission of Nurses for America. But Catherine's work is not done—until we return the House and the Senate to the Democrats!