The Honorable Donna M. Christensen is a retired Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who represented the U.S. Virgin Islands and was elected to nine terms. Congresswoman Christensen shattered the glass ceiling many times over as the first woman Delegate to Congress from the U.S. Virgin Islands, the first woman to represent an offshore territory and the first woman physician to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the First Vice-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and chaired the Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Braintrust, which oversees and advocates minority health issues nationally and internationally.
Dr. Donna Christensen transformed the role of Delegate to Congress by being the first ever to gain a seat on the prestigious and powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee which has oversight on health, energy, environment, consumer affairs, commerce, travel and tourism, and telecommunications. She served on Subcommittees on Communications and Technology and on Oversight and Investigations, and was named to the Bi-partisan Federal Spectrum Working Group.
During her nine terms in the Congress she has served with distinction on the Committees of Small Business, Homeland Security and Natural Resources. On Natural Resources which has jurisdiction over the territories, she chaired the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife in the 111th Congress and served as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands from the 107th to the 109th Congress. On the Small Business Committee, she served as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Rural Enterprises, Business Opportunities and Special Small Business Problems in the 106th Congress. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, she served on the Conference Committee that approved the 9-11 Commission Report during the 110th Congress.
Congresswoman Christensen has worked on issues of local, regional and national interest with her colleagues in the Democratic, Black and Progressive Caucuses on one side of the aisle and in a bi-partisan manner on matters of mutual interest with her colleagues in the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues, the Travel and Tourism Caucus, the Rural Caucus, the Friends of the Caribbean Caucus, the Coastal Caucus, Fire Caucus, Port Caucus and the National Guard and Reserve Caucus. She has worked most notably as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, where she has served as an advocate for underserved minority populations across the country and with her colleagues in the Tri-Caucus, which focuses on issues of concern to black, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific and Native Americans.
Dr. Christian- Christensen was sponsored by Epsilon Zeta chapter in the Eastern Region.
Sharon Elliott-Bynum, Ph. D.,RN,BSN,MA
Dr. Elliott-Bynum is a resplendent model of a trailblazer who has served our community working as a professional nurse, an educator, consultant, researcher and administrator. She began her nursing career at the age of 16.
For the past 19 years, she has dedicated her life to helping the underserved – setting a standard for service, responsibility and unconditional love for humankind. Dr. Elliott-Bynum and her late sister Pat Amaechi talked about what they could do and what were their] responsibilities as a citizens to disenfranchised individuals to help them to figure out how to improve their health and navigate the system to get help.” In 1995, she and her late sister founded Healing with CAARE, Inc.
Today, this organization is “an oasis of CAARE in Durham, NC and surrounding areas for at risk community members who experience health and socio economic disparities.” It is Durham’s first free standing comprehensive health care clinic from prevention to diagnosis for the uninsured. During the evening hours, doctors and nurses volunteer their time to both the medical and dental clinics.
Dr. Elliott-Bynum has worked to foster a culture of service by developing opportunities to create community supportive safety nets of care inclusive of a holistic approach to life, which is physical, social, psychological and spiritual. This endeavor has led to an expansion of services to include the Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Education and Wellness Center, which provides nutrition classes and healthy recipes, case management services, free pap smears and referrals for fee mammograms. Additionally, the uninsured have access to a gym and personal trainer, acupuncture, yoga as well as a massage area to relieve stress and a place to relax. A chapel is present to help clients with the spiritual part of their lives.
Dr. Elliott-Bynum was sponsored by Rho Chapter of the Southern Region. Dr. Elliot-Bynum transitioned from this life on January 3, 2016 after a battle with lung cancer.
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