Dr. Shirley Evers Manly presents during the virtual 2020 Mississippi Nurses Association Convention

During a recent health convention, one of Alcorn State University’s leaders addressed her peers with a project centered on COVID-19.

Dr. Shirley Evers Manly, interim dean for the Cora S. Balmat School of Nursing, presented her project titled, “Weighing the Options to Implement Universal Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders for Coronavirus Patients,” during the virtual 2020 Mississippi Nurses Association Convention.

The presentation focused on COVID-19 pandemic healthcare facilities' discussions to implement blanket “Do Not Resuscitate” orders for COVID-19 patients with chronic health care problems.

“The conversations were driven by the realization that the risk to staff amid dwindling stores of protective equipment,” said Manly. “The main concern for implementing this policy was due to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and exposure to fluids that could endanger the health and lives of the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals involved in the resuscitation. Concerns include not only losing healthcare personnel who could become ill but also the amount of PPE needed for each attempt.”

Manly encourages individuals, especially those with underlying health issues, to speak with their doctor about advanced care planning.

“As the nation contends with COVID-19, advanced care planning is more vital now than ever, especially amongst individuals with multiple chronic, life-threatening, and acute illnesses. Primary care clinicians or nurses who have longitudinal relationships with patients can address advanced care planning during outpatient visits scheduled for other reasons or during dedicated telemedicine visits. Additionally, patients and families can be directed to online resources to guide these conversations and to facilitate the completion of a physician order for life-sustaining treatment.”

Besides participating in the Convention, Manly enjoys her new job as interim dean and working with colleagues and students.

“I have had a wonderful experience thus far. I have been building active collaborations internally and with other parts of the University and fostering a greater sense of cohesion among our faculty, staff, and students. I enjoy working with the students and sharing new ideas with the faculty. I believe the school is a diamond in the rough with exceptional potential.”

Developing initiatives that would allow the University to help others is one of Manly’s priorities.

“I love program development. My mind is always thinking of what is next. I have only been here three months and have already written a grant and have begun a partnership with Alcorn’s Department of Agriculture on a childhood obesity grant. I have also spoken to them about potentially starting a joint Care of Rural Health Populations track and Farmworker Primary Healthcare program.”