Hope in 2021

After a difficult 2020, Heather P. Kahn (Omega Chapter) is heading into 2021 with hope. 

Working at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans, Heather spent most of this past year having difficult conversations. As COVID patients entered the emergency room, Heather admitted them and laid out any risk factors. She was the one to share with patients and families that if they were put on a ventilator, it was not likely that they would survive. While the end was near for too many, her job was to make her patients comfortable and support them throughout the process. To say this year was difficult would be an understatement. 

In March, her hospital’s staffing was cut thin. They did not have enough personal protective equipment to protect themselves or their patients. Calling in staff from other departments, they worked tirelessly to keep their community safe. Heather’s advice to sisters would be to “Listen to the social distancing guidelines, wear a mask and wash your hands. Take your symptoms seriously, just because you receive a negative test does not mean you do not have COVID. If you come in contact with the virus, take the full 14 days to quarantine.”

2020 was tough but she is feeling optimistic about 2021 with vaccine distribution in full swing. The moment she received her vaccination, she felt hope. Heather shared, “Everyone has to be open to the vaccine – we wish we could provide it to everyone right now. The more people get involved the brighter the future will be. Things will get better.” Heather did not experience any adverse side effects more than the normal soreness at the point of injection. She encourages all sisters of DPhiE to stay hopeful and do your research! With a high effective rate for the vaccine, we can help each other stay safe. She shared, “It’s going to take some time, but it is the best option we have for fighting the virus.” Stay alert and see when you’re eligible to receive the vaccine in your state. By receiving the vaccine, you are taking a stance and advocating for a more hopeful 2021.

Using Her Voice

The 2020 presidential election was historic. With a record number of first time voters, it will be remembered for a lifetime. One of those first time voters was our very own, Natalie Vang Jensen (Alpha Chapter).

Born in Japan and raised in Bangkok, Natalie made the move to attend New York University in 2011 on a student visa. The summer of her Junior year, she was accepted for her green card. Five years later, she was eligible to apply for United States citizenship. She relied heavily on the support from her DPhiE sisters and friends to learn all about American history. “New York University is known for having lots of international students so it was great to see so much diversity and have the support of my sisters.” In a courthouse in New York City on December 13, 2019 Natalie took her citizenship test.

With the 2020 presidential election just around the corner, Natalie could not wait to use her voice. The importance of having a vote and using your voice is something that should never be taken for granted. Natalie shared, “You’ve got to dig deep, educate yourself on what matters to you from the bottom of the ballot to the top. Not just in the presidential elections but all elections.” Natalie even brought her fan base of family and friends to cheer her on after she cast her vote!

“As someone that was not able to vote, it is so important to realize that voting is a privilege, right and duty.” It is a chance to speak up for your community and others who may not be able to do so.

This year showed us that nothing can stop us from casting our vote and using our voices. Stay up to date on your states local elections to ensure you don’t miss your opportunity to take a stance.

Natalie Vang Jensen is an alumna from the Alpha chapter at New York University. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. If you are looking for a new book to read, in her spare time Natalie runs a bookstagram, follow her at @nataliesbookclub on Instagram.