Senator Shirley Nathan Pulliam

Democrat, District 44, Baltimore City & Baltimore County
James Senate Office Building, Room 304
11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3612, (301) 858-3612

Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates on November 8, 1994 and reelected in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010, completing 20 years of service. In 2014 she was elected to the Maryland State Senate for the 44th district.   She is the first Caribbean-born person and the first African-Caribbean Registered Nurse elected to the Maryland General Assembly in its 380 years of history.  Born in Jamaica, West Indies and educated in Jamaica, England and the United States, she is a naturalized American citizen.

Senator Nathan-Pulliam is a Registered Nurse with years of experience as a quality assurance coordinator, head nurse and team leader at hospitals in the Baltimore metropolitan area.  She holds an Associate of Arts degree from Baltimore City Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Maryland and a Masters degree in Administrative Science from The Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School. 

Her present assignments in the Senate include the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee:Member, -Health subcommittee: co-chair; Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families: :Member; Death with Dignity Work Group, 2016:Member; Maryland Medicaid Advisory Committee Joint Committee:Member; The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area, 2017:Member.

Her previous assignments in the House of Delegates included the Health and Government Operations Committee; Chair, Minority Health Disparities Subcommittee; Member, Insurance Subcommittee; Joint Committee on Health Care Delivery and Financing; Joint Committee on Children Youth and Families; Maryland Medicaid Advisory Committee; and the Oversight Committee on Quality of Care in Nursing Homes; and the Advisory Council on Hereditary and Congenita Disorders. She also serves on the Maryland Medicaid Advisory Panel. 

She was the past President of the Women Legislators of Maryland in the 2007 session, past 1st Vice Chair of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and current Chair of the Black Caucus Health Policy Committee, past Secretary for the Baltimore County Delegation and past Co-chair of the Education Committee, past Vice Chair of the NBCSL Health Policy Committee and currently second vice chair. 

She has attended six Democratic National Conventions and was elected a President Clinton delegate in 1996.

Shirley Nathan-Pulliam has over 40 years of service as a political and community activist in local, state, and federal activities.  In September 1990, she was elected to the Democratic State Central Committee and served on the Democratic Party Executive and Legislative Committees.  Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke appointed her as the Social Services Commissioner in 1990. For over 35 years attended the Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust in Washington D.C. Initially chaired by Congressman Lewis Stokes, Dana Christion, under their leadership. Member of the National Political Conference of Black Women. She has been a proud member of the NAACP and the League of Women voters. Early in her life, she was a vice-chair of the Black Women Consciousness Raising Association. The Senator was also a member of the Hub business association. She was inducted into the Library of Congress's History Makers. 

Keenly aware of the problems of health care access and quality, she has been a leading advocate for improved health care for the under served and health care disparities. She has played major roles in sponsoring legislation creating the Healthcare Disparities Prevention Act, HB 883 and establishing the Office of Minority Health and Health Care Disparities, HB 86.  She worked nationally with Senator Ben Cardin on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to elevate national Offices of Minority Health in 8 federal agencies.  She has an extraordinary legislative record, sponsoring and co-sponsoring hundreds of bills that were signed into law. Key legislative initiatives include funding for Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment programs, oral cancer mortality reduction program and treatment for co-occurring disorders-substance abuse and mental illness. She fought for the environment with her Pollinator Protection Act 2016. 

Additionally, she has been sponsor or co-sponsor for Minority Business Enterprise legislation. Recently, bills on MBE participation, certification, and veteran-owned businesses have become law.

Senator Nathan-Pulliam also has a record of educating and fighting for immigrant communities and working closely with local, state and federal officials.

Her dedication to public service has been recognized with numerous awards and honors including the naming of the Shirley Nathan-Pulliam Health Equity Lecture Series by the University of Maryland School of Public Health Center for Health Equity and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in 2011.  The University of Maryland School of Nursing created an Endowment Scholarship in her name. Additionally, she has received the 2014 Prime Minister of Jamaica Achievement Award, 2012 Cradle of Hope Award, 2012 MARFY Legislator of the Year, 2011 Hepatitis Hero Award, 2011 Adventist Center for Health Disparities Blue Ribbon Award,  2011 Woman of Substance Award, 2011 Phenomenal Women Award of Excellence, 2011 Greater Baltimore Urban League Whitney M. Young, Jr. Memorial Award, 2011 Tubman & Sands Visionary, Leadership and Legacy in Nursing Award, 2010 Ambassador Ball Woman of the Year, 2010 Bon Secours Hospital’s Nursing Week  Elimination of Health Care Disparities Award, 2010 Morgan State University Diversity in Health Care Workforce Award, 2010 Oncology Leadership Award, 2010 Appreciation for Extraordinary Service & Dedication To The Development Of The Communities Of Baltimore, Maryland, 2009 Caribbean American Heritage Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009 William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund Unsung Hero Award, 2009 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Award from the National Minority Quality Forum and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation,  2008 Legislator of the Year by the Mental Health Association of Maryland, 2008 UNIA Marcus Garvey Award Jamaican Association of MD; 2007 Circle of Excellence Maryland’s Top 100 Women by the Daily Record also 2002, 2005. University of Maryland Bioscience for Health Advocacy Award 2007, Monumental Medical Society Pioneer of the Year Award 2007. APHA Distinguish Health Legislator of the Year 2005. Q Ministries, Inc. Woman of Great Esteem at the United Nations, Environmental Leadership, American Heart Association Legislator of the Year, Harriet Tubman Legacy, Champions Against Oral Cancer, University of Maryland Breast Cancer Award, Maryland Nursing Association Legislator of the Year and the Regional Champion Award from the Citizens Planning and Housing Association. She is a member of Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, National Black Nurses Association and  Baltimore Chapter, Maryland Nurses Association and American Nurse Association. 

The Senator is the founder and co-founder of many organizations including, the Black Mental Health Alliance, the Congress on Health and Economic Disparities, Maryland Black Congress on Health Law and Economics, Jamaican Association of Maryland, Inc. and the Baltimore City Community College Nursing Alumni. She has served as a member or board member of over 20 groups and organizations. Including being a board member of Planned Parenthood. 

Senator Nathan-Pulliam has been a speaker at numerous conferences around the country. She has also made many radio television appearances. She has always been a champion for issues concerning under served communities.  

Senator Nathan-Pulliam is the owner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Adult Medical Daycare for over 16 years. She was also President and CEO of Nathan's Networks that provides personal care services to clients in their homes and adult medical daycare services for the elderly and the disabled.

Shirley Nathan-Pulliam is the mother of three children and the grand- mother of five. She has been a member of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church for over 50 years and a resident of the Hunting Ridge Community for 40 years.  She is presently a resident in the Windsor Mill Community.  

Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam is truly a woman of firsts, with many more firsts to come.

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