Dr. Gayle Robinson, PhD, MN, BSN, RN was recently selected to receive a Community Health Excellence Award by the NW Asian Weekly Foundation.
Dr. Robinson is an assistant professor at the Seattle University (SU) College of Nursing, where Covid-19 standards of care and updated protocols are incorporated in to her instruction of SU Nursing Students. She has provided diligent, continuous work with underserved communities as she selflessly provides knowledge and services to prevent the spread of the virus.
Dr. Robinson began her higher education as a student at Seattle Central Community College where she received an AA degree in 1988. She received her BS Degree in Nursing (2002), her Masters of Nursing (2004) and her PhD in Nursing (2014) from the University of Washington.
Dr. Robinson was assisted in her educational progress by both Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization (MMNPO) scholarships and academic and research fellowships. Some of Robinson’s significant, ongoing community activities prior to her involvement with agencies to increase their effectiveness during the Covid-19 period, include: The Delaney Saturday School for Black Children, the Black Child Development Institute, the Black United Front, the Community Kwanzaa Organizing Committee, Adefua African Drum and Dance Company, the Martin Luther King Elementary PTA and the Central Area Youth Association.
Robinson was nominated for the Community Health Care Excellence Award because of her continuous commitment to improving health care services to the community — with special emphasis on communities of color with the high prevalence of the coronavirus infecting these communities. Robinson, who is African American, emphasizes the important of collaboration of health care workers of all races and ethnicities as our communities of color benefit greatly from this holistic effort.
She has been instrumental in raising funds to support underserved families at the Asa Mercer International Middle School in Seattle, where her efforts of collaboration with the school counselor and PTA President allowed for MMPNO to support the procurement of household supplies and other items that is not common in donated supplies. This effort supported many households where students were home unexpectedly.
Dr. Robinson has also consulted and taught classes on infection control and handwashing to staff and community workers at the Sisters in Common organization and at The Center for Multicultural Health. This allowed for the staff to gain additional updated knowledge on the prevention of spread of disease and the importance of handwashing in preventing the spread. The information was presented so staff could then take those principles and share with families to help decrease overall community spread.
She also collaborated with Sisters in Common — a non-profit agency in Renton which focuses on solution based and outcome services for children, teens and families to provide brief intervention treatment, counseling and case management — to resolve personal and situational intervention services
She has volunteered to teach classes on PPE, during this pandemic at The Center of Multicultural Health, which supports families who live in multigenerational households. The Center for Multicultural Health focuses on African American but provides services to foreign born Black men and women. It provides numerous services to eligible individuals in Swahili, Amharic, Tigrinya, and Somali languages.
The information Robinson obtains of PPE shortages while consulting with community agencies has been helpful in planning activities for Outreach programs in her volunteer activities with MMPNO, including the distribution of PPE gloves and cloth masks in the community. According to colleagues, her activities have been central in motivating MMPNO members and other volunteers in picking up food items, and packaging food items during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.
“As a nurse educator at Seattle University I am committed to teaching students about the science and management of pathogens during this pandemic with COIVD-19 through infection control measures, to keep themselves safe and the clients they care for,” says Robinson. “I am also dedicated to model what we do as nurses outside of our academic and work setting to keep our communities safe. So, our learning goes beyond our classroom settings and into community service learning.
“For example, I volunteer with MMPNO working to support and encourage African heritage students in nursing programs through mentoring and outreach work or volunteering with a behavioral health agency like Sisters in Common that look at impact of social determinants of health on lives of individuals and families,” she added. “I do believe that it is ongoing learning to achieve a balance of what we teach about the science and methods to manage in a pandemic, and our ability to serve.”