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Melba Raby, BSN, RN

Melba Raby, BSN, RN

Staff Nurse
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem

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The DAISY Foundation Award for Nurses Advancing Health Equity

Melba Raby has been laser-focused on one goal during her seven-year nursing career: Making sure a patient is heard and understood, so they obtain the care they need.

“These are some of the best moments in my nursing career, because health care feels personalized to the patient in that moment,” she explains. “My approach to patient care is to treat individuals with the respect I would give my loved ones; trying to understand the patient’s perspective with their socioeconomical constraints and mental health status during hospital visits. My hope is that patients and their families feel they are entering a caring community that is centered around their well-being.”

Currently working as a Staff Nurse at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, Raby feels that nurses play a vital role in identifying and alleviating health care inequities.

“Empathy, love and understanding are my glue for securing compassionate care.”
Melba Raby, Staff Nurse

“Mitigating health disparities is important to me as a nurse because we are often the first opportunity for individuals to increase health literacy, eliminate redundance and obtain compassionate care with an impact that ripples through the whole family,” she points out. “I like to listen to patient and identify the barriers to compliance and ways to decrease the risk of non-compliance.”

Raby’s nursing career and her commitment to health equity grew out of personal experience, being raised by an aunt who had polio. “As my aunt raised me, I watched her navigate the health care system for herself, her children, spouse, parents and siblings, all while maintaining a full-time job,” Raby recalls. “Never once did she let her polio define what she was capable of. I saw caregivers lack empathy for her, not advocate for her and I saw the impact just one caregiver could have on her experience; rippling throughout our whole family. I wanted to the be the one who did more.”

Raby herself sees research as increasingly important in the future. “I see the nursing profession going into a more independent role of nurse-led research,” she comments. “I would like to research ways to decrease barriers to compliancy and increase health care literacy.”

Learn more about our Nursing Excellence Award Winners