The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in public health for the public good. The backbone of the public health sector always has been, and always will be, nurses.

Nurses have always served on the frontline of health crises, natural disasters and epidemics. Today, it’s no different. Comprised of dedicated and compassionate individuals, nurses are present at birth and in death, in moments of great joy and in times of unspeakable sorrow. They are the core of the health care system.

One specialty that I would like to highlight are nurses working in sexual and reproductive health. These services are deemed a necessity during a pandemic. These nurses are also on the frontlines providing care during the pandemic for patients who may want to achieve or delay pregnancy.

Sexual wellness nurses, including advanced practice nurses, work collectively to improve the health of individuals, families and communities by providing culturally sensitive, compassionate, patient-centered reproductive health care.

Regardless of their specialty, nurses are the heart of every health care organization, so please join me in thanking a nurse for Nurses Month this May.

Raissa Ameh of Jefferson City is the clinical director for Missouri Family Health Council, Inc. By profession, she is a board certified women’s health nurse practitioner.

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