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The Massachusetts Nurses Association and Health Watch USA to Host Day-Long Webinar on COVID-19 and Its Effects on Frontline Workers from Across the Globe

July 15 event will feature physicians and nurses from across the globe and two panels of essential workers from various business sectors; all speakers will share their insights on and personal experiences from the pandemic, as well as advice on next steps in the fight against COVID-19 ahead of the looming "second surge"

CANTON, MA — The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), in collaboration with Health Watch USA, will host a day-long webinar on the COVID-19 pandemic and the profound effects it has had on frontline workers worldwide.

Through the Eyes of the Frontline: COVID-19

  • Wednesday, July 15 from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET
  • Journalists invited to attend; register at
  • This event is free, and nursing CE credits are available to participants upon completion of the program,  post-program test and evaluation, and an associated online review of content.

"The scope and impact of COVID-19 have been so extensive and ever-evolving, that the MNA and Health Watch USA felt strongly that now was the time to hold a global summit that addresses the evolution and effects of the pandemic so far," said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN and MNA president. "To do this summit right, we knew we needed to hear from not only scientific leaders from across the globe, but also from the frontline workers who have been in the trenches for the last many months."

Individual presenters will share their insights on the pandemic from the perspective of their own country's outbreak and response. Panelists will address the following two topics:

  1. "The Healthcare Workforce and Academic Response to the Initial COVID-19 Wave and Recommendations in Preparation for the Second Wave”
  2. "The Essential Industries Workforce Response to the Initial Wave of COVID-19 and Recommendations in Preparation for the Second Wave”

Featured speakers and content include:

  • Donna Kelly-Williams, RN and MNA president, as event host and panel moderator.
  • Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, MD, on “Tracing the History of Ineffective Disease Policy." Dr. Kavanagh is founder and Board Chairman of Health Watch USA, a non-profit patient advocacy and healthcare policy research organization.
  • Matthias Maiwald, MD, on "Singapore from the Front Lines." Dr. Maiwald is Senior Consultant and the Head of Service, Microbiology, at KK Women's and Children's Hospital and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, National University of Singapore, and at Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School.
  • Christina M.J.E. Vandenbroucke-Grauls, MD, on "The Netherlands from the Front Lines." Dr. Vandenbroucke-Grauls is currently a professor of medical microbiology and head of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Centre (VUmc), Utrecht, the Netherlands. For five years, she combined this with being also the head of the similar department at the Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam.
  • Jesús Rodríguez-Baño, PhD, on "Spain from the Front Lines." Dr. Rodríguez-Baño is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Seville and Head of the Infectious Diseases division at Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena in Seville, Spain. He is also Scientific Chair of the Spanish Network for Research in Infectious Diseases (REIPI), which is funded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III, and Past President of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID).
  • Elaine Bernard, PhD, on "The Story of the United States." Dr. Bernard served as Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard University from 1989-2017. She has conducted courses on a wide variety of topics for unions, community groups, universities and government departments, and her current research and teaching interests are in the areas of international comparative labor movements and the role of unions in promoting civil society, democracy and economic growth.

Essential Workers Panelist include (in alphabetical order):

  • Kelly Cabrera, Emergency Department RN at Jacobi Medical Center in The Bronx, NY and member of the New York State Nurses Association.
  • Richard MacKinnon, Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts President.
  • Merrie Najimy, Massachusetts Teachers Association President.
  •  Marie Ritacco, Post Anesthesia Care Unit RN at  St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and MNA Vice President.
  • Jodi Sugarman-Brozan, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health Executive Director
  • Nancy Dupras, grocery store personnel, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791, Vice President of FT & PT Associates.

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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.