Media Relations

AACN Representatives Invited to the White House for a Televised Conversation with President Obama about Healthcare Reform

Share |

Press Release
For Immediate Release

AACN Representatives Invited to the White House for a Televised
Conversation with President Obama about Healthcare Reform

Read the Latest Article about the White House Event in Advance For Nurses
A Question for the President
Advance for Nurses Magazine, June 26, 2009

AACN Representatives attending the White House event (from left): Lauren Underwood, Dr. Vernell DeWitty, Dr. Fay Raines, Suzanne Begeny, Hershaw Davis, and Dr. Janet Allan.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2009 – AACN is pleased to announce that AACN President Fay Raines and Treasurer Janet Allan have been invited to the White House this evening, along with AACN staff members and nursing students, to participate in an ABC News program focused on the national healthcare reform debate. Airing at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, the program, titled Questions for the President: Prescription for America, will be moderated by newscasters Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer and feature a question-and-answer exchange with President Barack Obama regarding the future of the nation’s healthcare system (see the official program announcement below).

“AACN is pleased to be invited to this high-profile event to continue our work to advance the importance of nurses and nursing education in conversations about healthcare reform,” said Dr. Raines. “We hope to use this platform to underscore the strategic role schools of nursing play in preparing a highly qualified nursing workforce able to meet the demands of tomorrow’s healthcare system.”

Representing AACN at this event will be Dr. Raines, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Alabama in Huntsvillle, and Dr. Allan, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Joining AACN’s Board members at the White House will be AACN staff members Suzanne Begeny, Director of Government Affairs, and Dr. Vernell DeWitty, Deputy Director for the New Careers in Nursing Program, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. AACN also invited two local nursing students to participate: Lauren Underwood, a graduate student from the Johns Hopkins University who is serving as an intern with AACN’s Government Affairs department; and Hershaw Davis, a baccalaureate student from the University of Maryland who is a recent recipient of the AfterCollege-AACN scholarship.

AACN is hopeful that our representatives will have the opportunity to address the President directly during tonight’s program. Issues that may be addressed by AACN representatives include nursing’s role in securing access to health care; the utilization of advanced practice registered nurses as primary care providers; the national need to address the nurse faculty shortage; and the importance of focusing on prevention and quality through nursing care, among other concerns.

ABC News approached AACN last week to identify participants for this program following the testimony presented by Dr. Raines before the Senate HELP Committee on June 12, 2009. AACN offered testimony on behalf of the nursing community before the Senate on the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, which addresses healthcare reform. AACN testimony from that hearing is posted online at For more information about healthcare reform legislation and nursing’s effort to shape the issues, see AACN’s new Nursing Policy Beat resource found online at

June 15, 2009


ABC News’ Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer to Moderate a Primetime Conversation with President Barack Obama about the Future of the Nation’s Healthcare System
Special Edition of “Primetime” to Air from the White House Wednesday, June 24th at 10pm ET

“Questions for the President: Prescription for America” to Continue on “Nightline” at 11:35pm ET

“Good Morning America” and “World News” to Originate From the White House on Wednesday

“GMA” to Feature Exclusive Interview with President Obama

As the nation debates sweeping changes in healthcare, ABC News’ Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer will moderate a conversation with President Obama about this critical issue on the nation’s agenda. A special edition of Primetime “Questions for the President: Prescription for America” will air on Wednesday, June 24th from 10:00-11:00 PM ET on the ABC Television Network. The conversation with the President will continue on “Nightline” at 11:35pm ET.

During the discussion from the East Room of the White House, President Obama will answer questions from an audience made up of Americans selected by ABC News who have divergent opinions in this historic debate. ABC News’ Medical Editor Dr. Timothy Johnson will also take part in the conversation which will focus on different ideas for how to fix the system and how proposed changes will impact our already fragile economy.
Wednesday morning’s “Good Morning America” will originate from the South Lawn of the White House and will include an exclusive interview with President Obama. He sits down with Diane Sawyer to discuss healthcare and other issues on the nation’s agenda. Wednesday’s program will also feature portions of Robin Roberts’ exclusive interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. Charles Gibson will anchor “World News” from the Blue Room of the White House on Wednesday. will invite viewers to join the discussion and share their questions about health care reform at starting Tuesday, June 16th. will be working with to select popular questions voted on by online users and some of those questions will be put to President Obama during the program. ABC News' daily political webcast, “Top Line”, will focus on health care reform throughout the week of June 22. senior political reporter and author of the Note, Rick Klein, will live-blog and interact with users as the forum airs and full video coverage of the forum will be posted online. A special section of dedicated to the health care debate will offer comprehensive coverage of the forum and will continue as legislation is taken up in Congress.

ABC News Radio will air portions of “Questions for the President: Prescription for America” and will also produce a special edition of its weekly news magazine PERSPECTIVE, that will include portions of the special. PERSPECTIVE will be available to ABC News Radio affiliates for use over the weekend of June 27-28.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 670 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.

# # #


Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231