By Heather R. Cotter and Natasha Lukasiewich, DNP Candidate, MSN, HHP, LNC, RN, CCRN-K, CEN, CFRN, EMS-RN
This article highlights a valued member of the International Public Safety Association, Natasha Lukasiewich. Recently, Natasha went above and beyond and created a Facebook fundraiser on her birthday to support the IPSA. Her goal was to raise $500, and she surpassed it.
Q1: You recently created a fundraiser for the IPSA on Facebook. What prompted, you to do that and how can others replicate this?
Recently I got a year older and thought, you know, how great would it be to share my passion and belief in the mission that IPSA? Therefore, I decided to take a leap to honor and donate my birthday to IPSA on Facebook.
Facebook has a great feature in which you can choose a not-for-profit organization to raise funds for an organization you believe in. Any Facebook user can use this feature (instructions about how to easily do this are below).
Honestly, I had no idea if my friends, family and connections would support my fundraiser for the IPSA. To my gratefulness they did, and I beat my fundraising goal. I know the funds will be used wisely to support the IPSA mission.
Q2: Tell us about yourself. What is your professional background?
I started my journey in healthcare in 2001, when I graduated from Grant MacEwan University, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a diploma in Holistic Health. I worked collaboratively in integrative medicine approaches with a Naturopathic Doctor and Chiropractor. I later realized my calling in nursing. Graduating from the same university, I completed my Nursing Diploma, venturing into Emergency Medicine.
In 2006, I moved to California to continue my ER nurse journey. I later found my calling as a flight nurse for Calstar. The rewards of flight nursing are never ending, but also the challenges mentally can tax even the most resilient. I continued my flight nursing career in Lake Tahoe/Reno, NV areas with Care Flight. Close to seven years in the skies, I stepped down due to a physical injury that would not allow me to fly anymore.
So being a nurse, I reinvented my career. I then completed my MSN and I am currently completing my DNP (Doctorate in Nursing Practice). My focus is peer advocacy and raising mental health wellness in health care and first responders. Being a voice for those that cannot, has been a true honor. I have spoken for many webinars, symposiums and national conferences on the effects of PTSD, depression and suicide for our heroes.
For the last six years, I have served as a Volunteer Auxiliary Deputy Sheriff on the Washoe County search and rescue team, and I also serve on their Critical Response Team and Peer Support Unit.
Aside from having professional experiences in dealing with those that suffer with mental illness and wellness balance, I am also a survivor of my dad’s suicide when I was younger. I try to share how others can become more resilient and embrace post traumatic growth that can occur in our industries.
Q3: Since you have been a member, what have you done to advance the IPSA mission?
Joining the IPSA was one of those steps that I do not regret. I’d like to personally thank Todd Kerfoot, an IPSA Board Member, for introducing me to this fantastic association.
Since I have joined the IPSA’s mental health committee, I have been part of the team that helped produce the mental health awareness posters, that have been shared for free and distributed across the nation. Just recently, I have taken on the support role of Vice Chair, hoping not to disappoint the committee members. We have some great talent, and I look forward to our next projects coming out. Some of us, and myself have been presenters on the IPSA webinars. I have also had the opportunity to attend one of our IPSA conferences in Arizona. It was so nice to put faces to familiar names.
Q4: Why should others get involved with the IPSA?
I have my own consulting and education specialist company. I know the importance of having support in one’s mission. I am constantly training with pre-hospital providers and hospital personnel to improve patient outcomes. The IPSA is an organization for those who serve. We truly cannot forget about ourselves, and the IPSA definitely helps bring those like-minded together. After all, together we are stronger.
I have served on many committees in the past and felt the frustration of never really accomplishing a lot. I can attest that joining IPSA and their committees, you are surrounded by the most motivated individuals. If you truly want to see change, then join us in the mission to improve our industries.
Facebook Donation Instructions
Step 1: Start by writing a post, and then click on the … to open up the menu you see below. Then click on Support Nonprofit.
Step 2: Select International Public Safety Association and the write a story in your Post about why you’re doing the fundraiser and how much you’d like to raise. Press Post and you’re done.