AHNA News Release

Contact: Terri Roberts, American Holistic Nurses Association, director@ahna.org,
(800) 278-2462 Ext. 16

American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) President-Elect Peggy Burkhardt, Ph.D., ARNP, BC, HNC Joins Forces with the First Lady and Dr. Biden to support Veterans and Military Families

American Holistic Nurses Association will join the ranks of hundreds of others in educating nurses and nursing students on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the coming years. AHNA President-Elect Peggy Burkhardt, Ph.D., ARNP, BC, HNC attended a briefing and kick off of the Joining Forces campaign this week at the University Of Pennsylvania with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced a commitment from nurses across the country eager to serve our veterans and military families as well as they have served us. In a broad, coordinated effort, more than 150 state and national nursing organizations including AHNA and over 500 nursing schools have committed to further educate our nation's 3 million nurses so they are prepared to meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families.
"Whether we're in a hospital, a doctor's office or a community health center, nurses are often the first people we see when we walk through the door. Because of their expertise, they are trusted to be the frontline of America's health care system," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "That's why Jill and I knew we could turn to America's nurses and nursing students to help our veterans and military families get the world-class care that they've earned. It's clear from today's announcement that the nursing community is well on its way to serving our men and women in uniform and their families."

"Nurses are at the center of providing lifesaving care in communities across the country -- and their reach is particularly important because our veterans don't always seek care through the VA system," said Dr. Jill Biden. "This commitment is essential to ensuring our returning service men and women receive the care they deserve."
The American Holistic Nurses Association will focus on promoting the Joining Forces campaign by educating holistic nurses to recognize the unique healthcare needs and issues of military personnel and families, particularly those that have experienced long periods of deployment. 
Peggy Burkhardt, Ph.D., ARNP, BC, HNC explains how AHNA can help, " Holistic nurses focus on the whole person, body, mind and spirit. They apply integrative modalities such as stress management in a way that facilitates a healing of injuries of body mind and spirit and supports life skills essential for post-conflict reintegration and living in a more balanced way."

The invisible wounds of war, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), have impacted approximately 1 in 6 of our troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq - more than 300,000 veterans. And since 2000, more than 44,000 of those troops have suffered at least a moderate-grade traumatic brain injury. Veterans seeking care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are often treated by health care professionals who have received extensive training in mental health issues.  But the majority of veterans in the country seek care outside of the VA system -- they usually visit their local hospital staffed by nurses and doctors in their communities. That's why today's announcement will be so significant for our troops and their families. America's nurses are trusted partners in providing lifesaving and life-sustaining care in nearly every community and every setting where health care is delivered. They can make a dramatic and positive impact on the long-term health of hundreds of thousands of veterans and they are eager to understand the needs of those who have served, to recognize the warning signs of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, or suicide, and to know where to send them for help.
Nursing leaders have also committed to disseminating effective models for care and to sharing the most up-to-date information on these conditions across academic and practice settings.   By working to expand the body of clinical knowledge in this arena and by partnering with other health care providers and institutions, nursing leaders across the country will continue to advance high quality treatment for these conditions in every community.
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Jill Biden Speaking - Photo by Peggy Burkhardt

Michelle Obama - Photo by Peggy Burkhardt

Joining Forces - Photo by Peggy Burkhardt

Peggy Burkhardt


The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) is a non-profit membership association for nurses and other holistic healthcare professionals. Founded in 1981, AHNA is the definitive voice for holistic nursing, and promotes the education of nurses, other healthcare professionals, and the public in all aspects of holistic caring and healing, serving as a bridge between conventional medicine and complementary and alternative healing practices. Holistic nursing is recognized by the American Nurses Association as an official nursing specialty with a defined scope and standards of practice. AHNA's mission is to advance holistic nursing through community building, advocacy, research and education.  

Peggy Burkhardt Ph.D., ARNP, BC, HNC is the President-Elect of the American Holistic Nurses Association.  She is currently an Associate Professor Emeriti at the West Virginia University School of Nursing, Charleston Division.  As a nursing educator she has taught BSN, MSN and Doctoral nursing students and has been a holistic nurse for over twenty-five years. Peggy is Family Nurse Practitioner and received her Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Miami, in Miami, Florida; her Masters in Nursing from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York and her Bachelors of Nursing from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

She was named The American Holistic Nurses’ Association 1999 Holistic Nurse of the Year and the same year was named the Outstanding Graduate Faculty by the West Virginia University School of Nursing.

Contact Information for Peggy Burkhardt
1007 Overlook Dr.
Beckley, WV  25801
Home (304) 253-5409
Cell  (304) 253-0235




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