February 11: Abey Lissane, RN
Abey Lissane, RN was born and raised in Ethiopia and, in 2008, immigrated to the United States, where he currently works for the Veterans Administration as a Registered Nurse. Abey also serves as a Public Relations Personnel for Ethiopian Community Association in Nashville (ECAN) and is an active Board Member for Tennessee Immigrants & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC). Abey is deeply committed to the prosperity of his community and is empowered by principles of justice, compassion, and social welfare. From 2019 to 2021, Abey served as thePresident of ECAN where, alongside Yohannes Tesfu (ECAN’s then-Vice President), he played a prominent role in educating the Ethiopian community on COVID-19. From co-organizing weekly educational conference calls about COVID-19 to coordinating vaccine clinics for his community, to purchasing and delivering groceries to community members impacted byCOVID-19, Abey demonstrated a commitment to ensuring his community was protected,informed and nurtured.
Abey also worked closely with TIRRC during the pandemic to assist with translating and disseminating COVID-related information to immigrants across Nashville. He collaborated with community religious leaders to uplift governmental assistance programs during the pandemic and distributed masks across the community. Abey’s equity-oriented principles have consistently undergirded his work as both a Registered Nurse and community advocate. His contributions are a beacon of inspiration to Black immigrant communities across Middle Tennessee and are a salient reminder of the urgency of diverse representation in the public health landscape.