OCN Launches RN Well-Being Project in Partnership with BALA Footwear

OCN Launches RN Well-Being Project in Partnership with BALA Footwear

The nonprofit nursing organization combines forces with BALA to prioritize mental health solutions for the nursing industry

PORTLAND, Ore. (September 8, 2021)— The Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN), a nonprofit that facilitates research and collaboration for Oregon’s nursing workforce, today announced the RN Well- Being Project, a new statewide initiative in partnership with BALA Footwear. The project seeks to address the intensified levels of stress, emotional trauma, psychological distress and burnout prompted by the pandemic, which continues to devastate the nursing profession today. United by their shared promise to serve the nursing community, BALA Footwear has committed 100% of the profits from its new DEFY product line to support OCN’s wellness project.

“As the pandemic has highlighted, healthcare workers show five times more symptoms than the estimated prevalence of PTSD in the general population, and nurses comprise the largest part of the healthcare sector,” said OCN Executive Director Jana Bitton, MPA. “We cannot afford to fail the care providers who consistently sacrifice their own health to put patients first. The RN Well-Being Project is a positive and strategic step forward in restoring the health and well-being of Oregon’s nursing community.”

The RN Well-Being Project aims to help nurses and nursing employers prioritize mental and emotional health by providing actionable advice, best practices and interventions. Through BALA’s contribution and partnership, the RN Well-Being Project will also provide start-up funding for innovative well-being projects across the state.

“We are honored to support OCN in its commendable endeavor to serve our nursing community better and mitigate the current mental and emotional crisis,” said Brian Lockard, co-founder of BALA Footwear. “BALA exists to champion the voices, frustrations and aspirations of nurses to make nursing the most respected profession in the world. We’ve listened to countless nurses throughout the past year, and now is the time to act and do more.”

The first phase of the RN Well-Being project is currently underway and will be complete by the end of 2021. BALA’s donation will kick-off fundraising for the second phase of the program, which is slated to commence in January 2022. Overall, OCN aspires to raise $1 million to award small grants to nursing organizations across the state. This charitable contribution will be used to help organizations implement new concepts and prioritize mental and emotional health for nurses.

“We are grateful to have found in BALA a trusted partner who deeply understands these complex issues and who took action after listening to Oregon nurses in their time of plight,” Bitton added. “We hope that the work we do together shines a brighter light on these important issues and empowers others to join in proactive solutions that can benefit nurses across the nation.”


About Oregon Center for Nursing

OCN is a nonprofit organization created by nursing leaders in 2002. OCN facilitates research and collaboration for Oregon’s nursing workforce to support informed, well-prepared, diverse and exceptional nursing professionals. Recognized by the Oregon state legislature as a state advisor for nursing workforce issues, OCN fulfills its mission through nurse workforce research, building partnerships, and promoting nursing and healthcare. For more information about OCN, please visit www.oregoncenterfornursing.org.

About BALA Footwear

Established in 2020 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, BALA Footwear designs and delivers premium footwear solutions for the physical, mental and emotional demands of a 12-hour nursing shift. Our mission is to listen fiercely, design iteratively and engineer exactly to co-create performance footwear specifically for the rigors of nursing. We are committed to making nursing the most respected profession in the world. Learn more at www.wearebala.com.

For more information, contact:

Elise Burke, PR Director