A new sorority in Sampson County will give local nurses an opportunity to bond as one and expand health services to the community.
Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. is forming a Clinton chapter — Gamma Eta Eta. The sorority was founded Oct. 16, 1932 at Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. Today, the facility is known as Howard University Hospital. The professional nursing organization was formed during a time when African-American nurses could not join related organizations because of discrimination and segregation. Local charter member Phyllis Goodman expressed how the organization was formed to elevate the nursing and encourage others to become involved in the field.
Family and friends of the Clinton chapter will be present during the celebration scheduled for Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, at Coharie Country Club. National officers from Chi Eta Phi will be attendance along with other medical professionals.
According to Goodman, it will be the first nursing sorority in Clinton and Sampson County. The work to have the chapter began in March 2016. Goodman is looking forward to the celebration and spreading awareness, especially health matters related to African-Americans. Some of the ones she mentioned include diabetes and breast cancer.
“We wanted to form this sorority in Clinton, so we can do more community service and outreach,” she said. “We’ll be available to do workshops and symposiums for local churches and organizations. We want to partner with them to submit the information to the congregations to help Sampson County be more healthy in general.”
At workshops, Goodman said the members will be open to checking blood pressure or cholesterol levels.Such tasks fits into the sorority’s motto, “Service for Humanity.”
“That’s what we want to do at this point in our career, serve our community and help Sampson County and surrounding counties be a healthy place for everybody,” she said.
The organization is open to both women and men who are registered professional nurses. People from all cultures and backgrounds who meet qualifications may join.
Goodman is one the founding members of Gamma Eta Eta in Clinton.The others are Myra Brunson, Hariett Bryant, Mary Goodman, Phyllis Goodman, Geneane Marshall, Tiffany Melvin, Deedy Murphy, Sabrina Pope, Beverly Raynor, Sandra Richardson, Veronica Stevens and Nettie Wilson-Pernell.
“We want to serve the community and it’s about giving back,” Wilson-Pernell said. “With healthcare being the way it is today, we want to be out in the forefront and be able to educate on healthcare as well as being part of the community and being visible.”
Some of the national programs of the sorority involve disease prevention and health promotion, educational scholarships and community health outreach. It’s affiliated with organizations such as the Coalition for the Advancement of Minority Health and Welfare, Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine and the American Heart & Stroke Association.
For more information about the sorority, visit www.chietaphi.com.