It’s not everyday that Jean Martin, associate professor of nursing, receives an invitation from the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama. But Martin immediately knew what to say — “yes.”
As president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), Martin was invited to a White House conference that focused on enhancing the wellbeing and psychological health of military families.
The one-day conference on March 29 included 25 people from national primary care and mental health associations. Martin said she was one of two participants representing nursing in the room. “It was really an honor to speak for nursing,” she said.
Although Obama was not in attendance (the invitation was from her office), Martin said the meeting was productive.
“It was really about looking at the best practices and resources available for families and military personnel,” she said.
West Michigan troops are not supported by a large military base, which Martin said that can create difficulties in trying to find mental health and primary care resources. “We’re in a unique situation and this meeting helped to better understand the military culture and what the service members and their families are going through, and what kind of help they may need,” she said.
Martin is ending her year as president of NAPNAP but will remain an executive officer for another term.