blog postsBlack History Month Series: Celebrating Black Nurses Who Paved the WayFeb 28, 2021 1:00 pm by firstname.lastname@example.orgImagesCongresswoman Lauren Underwood is an exceptional example of a nurse who is paving the way through politics, public health, and advocacy. Ms. Underwood learned at a young age she wanted to pursue a career in nursing. After receiving treatment for a diagnosis, she received at the age of 8, she was inspired by the care she received from her team of doctors and nurses and desired to become a nurse. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan, and would later receive a Master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University. Her post-graduate career began with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where Ms. Underwood worked on various initiatives, including the Flint Water Crisis, and implementing the Affordable Care Act. She is also an advanced practice nursing instructor at Georgetown University. Ms. Underwood made history in 2019 as being the youngest Black woman in Congress, representing the Democratic Party. The push to get involved in politics was after realizing that her opponent was actively working to repeal parts of Obamacare, which protected individuals with preexisting conditions. She decided it was an opportunity to get involved and advocate for the more than 300,000 individuals in IL, District 14, with pre-existing conditions. This was the catalyst for her Congress run, with key issues centering on allowing DACA recipients a path to citizenship, increasing federal funding for higher education, and reducing gun violence through universal background checks and limited sales. Ms. Underwood currently represents Illinois’ 14th district Ms. Underwood’s contributions in nursing, public health, and Congress have set the stage for improved access for individuals with pre-existing conditions, full access to abortion, and expanded investment in renewable energy projects and additional funding for the EPA, and a focus on climate change. Her ongoing service in public health will only improve healthcare and continue paving the way for future generations of nurses with desire to participate in politics. Sources: Brusie, B. C. Nurse Lauren Underwood is the youngest Black congresswoman - ever. https://nurse.org/articles/nurse-lauren-underwood-youngest-black-woman-congre/.