Goodbye, 2020.

Dean's Blog | December 10, 2020
Judith Karshmer

What a year, eh? There are so many things that I could say about these past 11 months and I’ll get into that in a minute. But first, I want to start by expressing my sincere gratitude. Thanks to all of you who read my blog posts, to our resilient students, staff, and faculty who have moved mountains this year. 2020 has tested and stretched us all in new and uncomfortable ways and here we are, still moving forward.

I remember when I found out that 2020 was going to be the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife how excited I was to see where we as nurses would shine the light with the eyes of the world upon us. Who could have predicted that a global pandemic would simultaneously usurp and propel our profession just two months into this international campaign?

So many of our staff, faculty and students stepped up big time in many ways this spring to help the health care community. Some of our alumni, meanwhile,  found themselves in unfamiliar territory, having to justify their advocacy for good public health policy and the most vulnerable. Some literally stood up for their patients in the face of vicious protestors. At the time and even now, I’m still in awe of their strength and fortitude.

Like many institutions, COVID-19 radically altered Edson College’s way of operating. From a military-like operation to move clinicals and simulations to virtual platforms to an Edson College Convocation like no other, we really had to rethink a majority of the way we deliver health education and college experiences on the fly. And this was all before May.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other pandemic that for too long has plagued the health care system and made COVID-19 even worse for some communities, the pandemic of inequality. At Edson College, diversity and inclusion will figure prominently in our goals to create safe places for students, staff and faculty of color and also a safe place for people to have dialogue and disagree. I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction and I’ll be transparent in sharing what we’re doing and our progress.

Even as we move toward a less physically distant future thanks to the promise of COVID-19 vaccines in the near-term, there is still much to do in the world of health education. So while 2021 will hopefully see some return to normalcy, our job is not done. Rest up my friends, because we have work to do. I, for one, cannot wait.