The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee helps us better serve communities of color, Native communities, individuals living with complex and rare epilepsies, and communities marginalized through social, economic, and political barriers as well as health care providers working most directly with these populations. Tammy Sinkfield-Morey, DNP, RN, PHN, CRRN, works at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and is a member of the EFMN Professional Advisory Board (PAB).
Q: Why do you serve on the DEI Committee?
TSM: I serve on the EFMN DEI Committee to promote equity, diversity, and belonging throughout all aspects of EFMN programming. I hope through my service that I raise diverse consciousness within the committee, that will dissipate into the organization to create a world in which ALL people affected by seizures have an opportunity to realize their full capacity. I serve to lift the voices and needs of diverse and marginalized communities living with epilepsy that have yet to be heard.
Q: What do you want people to know about epilepsy?
TSM: What I would want people to know about epilepsy is that those who are diagnosed are the ones who truly know the feelings, emotions and overwhelm that is experienced as they process receiving the diagnosis, begin, and continue the medication regimen; it can be a struggle. Each situation is different, and depending on the physical/emotional/environmental support, access to health insurance, and financial resources that you have it can be all the more challenging. Once you begin to unpack the feelings towards the changes, both big and small, that epilepsy has made to your lives, make sure to focus on self-care, and the state of your mental health; remember your goals and your abilities. Be kind to yourself, seek help, and recognize that there are others and resources like EFMN available to accompany you in this journey, and want to know what this is like for you.
Q: What EFMN program or service do you want to highlight to someone who is new to the organization? Why?
TSM: All of the services and programs that EFMN offers and supports are crucial and critical to providing support, connection, and education to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy, but that which most aligns with my passions is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative. Included in the comprehensive 2018-2020 strategic plan, this initiative has a foundational pillar of connecting with more communities. Far too often the economic, social, wealth, and health gaps have excluded many, mostly marginalized and people of color, from equitable access and care. However, this initiative creates agendas to mitigate and counter historical disadvantages and foster inclusion, belonging, and accessibility. This committee is one such agenda item.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that others may find interesting – either personal or professional, something that shows the audience who you are.
TSM: My Personal Statement: Ours is the task to pursue our passions and visions in discovery of our authentic roles, that we may reveal and give expression to who we are genuinely, self-actualized. My authentic role is as a nurse, a habitat for the spiritual practice of healing. I strive to connect with others in a deep way, that I may hold them in wholeness, sustaining through healing,vulnerability and wellness. As I do so, I affect my own wholeness, healing, vulnerability and wellness. This is my divine appointment, and I am connected within an infinite field of universal love.
I as a nurse am a universe healer, able to take the chaotic, uneasy, disquieting, and formidable encounters and turn them into something wonderfully compelling and meaningful. I have been moved by the caustic nature and explosiveness of racism and chronic health conditions to know myself in a wholly new sense. My calling to healing ways and my nursing ministry emotionally began as the wife of a man dying of cancer. I grounded myself to survive in the moment of finding a last attempt for his living, while readying myself for his inevitable mortality, endowing my spirit in purposefulness for my future. It was challenging to keep our hearts lit while the fire of his dying being suffocated us.
The unique energies in those moments which guided me toward living and my husband toward dying, both gracefully and intentionally were the foundation of who I have become as a nurse healer. I grew aware of my calling as he was being called upon.
I am a child of God, faithful and ever grateful for my many blessings and the lesser blight. I am prayerful every waking moment and in each instance of suspended consciousness. I strive, in all my activities, to reveal the glory, honor and mercy of the Lord. My belief in the power of faith and prayer has been embedded culturally. I practice holistically and aesthetically, being fully mindful and intentional to ensure that I deliver the best of care and I serve to achieve the absolute optimal of outcomes for all. I am here to make a difference in the trans-cultural society that we as nurses practice in.