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Children’s Minnesota manager of health equity joins Black Nurses Rock during pandemic to make a profound impact

Black Nurses Rock (BNR) is the largest online community where professional Black nurses share, network and develop together, according to their website. And specifically, the Twin Cities Chapter is a powerful group of Black men and women collaborating to empower, serve and educate.

Manager of health equity joins Black Nurses Rock during the pandemic

Adriene Thornton, MAOM, BSN, CIC, FAPIC, manager of health equity at Children’s Minnesota, joined the Twin Cities Chapter of BNR in 2020.

“I joined because I understand the importance of collaboration when trying to impact change,” Adriene said. “If I work alone, my impact is minimal. But as part of this group, that impact is much more profound.”

What impact has BNR made during the pandemic?

The Twin Cities Chapter of BNR focuses on community outreach and education, and providing services within marginalized communities.

Adriene Thornton, MAOM, BSN, CIC, FAPIC, manager of health equity at Children’s Minnesota

“For example, we provided assessment services to minority seniors to ensure that their mental health needs were met during the pandemic lockdown,” Adriene explained.

And currently, the bulk of their work focuses on providing COVID-19 vaccines at community clinics to vulnerable neighborhoods, making a profound impact on the fight against the pandemic.

Why is this group important for the Twin Cities and beyond?

BNR helps mentor and support Black nurses and nursing students. “We serve as a built-in support system and can help nurses that want to progress further professionally,” Adriene said.

But their work goes beyond just their members. They bridge the gap between the Twin Cities community and external groups by facilitating conversations that are needed to improve the health of the community at large.

What is the importance of Black History Month?

Adriene describes how Black History Month brings everyone together to learn and celebrate the rich history of Black people. She explains what this month means to her:

“Our history didn’t start in the United States, so it is important that we continue to share the real history with others. As Black people, we are constantly informing and educating, but during Black history month others are more open and willing to listen and learn.”