Antionette (Ann) Milligan-Barnes Oral History Interview, 2022

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Summary

Creator:
Milligan-Barnes, Antionette (Ann)
Abstract:
Antionette (Ann) Milligan-Barnes, RN, is a public health nurse and community advocate born in Durham, North Carolina. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Carolina Central University, she served in the United State Air Force Nurse Corps for 10 years. While working in Durham, Milligan-Barnes, a Black woman, worked at the segregated Watts Hospital, treating white patients, and was present during the establishment of the integrated Durham Regional Hospital in 1976. After returning to Durham, she worked at the Durham County Department of Public Health for over 20 years as a Public Health Nurse and Charge Nurse where she played a pivotal role in the Centering Pregnancy Program at the Department of Public Health where she later moved into the role of Centering Coordinator. Milligan Barnes retired in 2016. This collection contains 1 oral history interview conducted on October 5, 2022 by Josephine McRobbie as part of the Duke Midwifery Service and Durham Maternal Health Oral History Project, which was funded by The Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund. In the interview, Milligan-Barnes discusses her early professional years at Watts Hospital, her role as a Labor and Delivery nurse at Durham/Duke Regional Hospital, her time serving in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps, as well as her experiences in the Durham County Department of Public Health, where she worked as a public health nurse and the Coordinator for the Centering Program associated with the Duke Midwifery Services. The themes of this interview include community healthcare, health disparities, and pregnancy and postpartum care.
Extent:
1 Interview (1 transcript) and 1.36 GB
Collection ID:
OH.MILLIGANBARNESA

Background

Scope and content:

Includes 1 oral history interview with Ann Milligan-Barnes conducted on October 5, 2022 by Josephine McRobbie as part of the Duke Midwifery Service and Durham Maternal Health Oral History Project, which was funded by The Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund.

In the October 5, 2022 interview, Milligan-Barnes discusses her early professional years at Watts Hospital, her role as a Labor and Delivery nurse at Durham/Duke Regional Hospital, her time serving in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps, as well as her experiences in the Durham County Department of Public Health, where she worked as a public health nurse and the Coordinator for the Centering Pregnancy Program associated with the Duke Midwifery Services. The themes of this interview include community healthcare, health disparities, and pregnancy and postpartum care.

Biographical / historical:

Antionette (Ann) Milligan-Barnes, RN, is a public health nurse and community advocate born in Durham, North Carolina. She is the daughter of the late Milton and Lillie Harper, is married to William Barnes Jr., and is the mother of three daughters. Milligan-Barnes is a 1969 graduate of Hillside High School. She graduated in 1970 from Durham Technical Institute [now Durham Technical Community College] with a certification as a Practical Nurse, and was later licensed as a LPN. She continued her education at North Carolina Central University, where, in 1977, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. During her years in university, Milligan-Barnes, who is Black, worked at the segregated Watts Hospital providing care to white patients. She was present during the establishment of the integrated Durham Regional Hospital in 1976, and experienced moving patients at Watts to the new facility. After completing her education, Milligan-Barnes served in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps for ten years.
After returning to Durham, Milligan-Barnes worked at the Durham County Department of Public Health for over twenty years as a Public Health Nurse and Charge Nurse. She played a pivotal role in the Centering Pregnancy Program at the Department of Public Health from its start in 2004, later becoming the Centering Coordinator. During much of this time, Milligan-Barnes also worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse at Durham [later Duke] Regional Hospital, where she had the unique experience of caring for many of her Centering and Health Department clinic prenatal patients during labor and birth.

As Centering Coordinator, Milligan-Barnes was involved with all aspects of the group prenatal and postnatal care program, including recruiting patients, providing care during sessions, working with the Department's Monica Aguirre to maintain and grow Spanish-speaking Centering groups, and adjusting the curriculum to better suit client and community needs in collaboration with Duke Midwifery Service Director Amy MacDonald. She was initially dubious about the Centering model, but soon became one of its greatest advocates. "I was just overjoyed that the Health Department was able to offer something that had been offered for a long time in the private sector for people with insurance and people that could afford it," she says. "We were able to offer this same benefit to our patients -- low-income, no insurance patients - [and] they could know that they could be treated, and loved on."
In addition to her work as a Public Health Nurse, Milligan-Barnes has a passion for teen suicide prevention, survivors of domestic violence, and people living with HIV, and has worked as an advocate and counselor in those areas. She is a Deacon ordained in 2016, and serves at Fisher Memorial Church in Durham. Milligan-Barnes has received numerous awards over her long career, including the The Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina award (2011-2012). Milligan-Barnes retired in 2016 after working in nursing for 48 years.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2022.068 (transferred by Josephine McRobbie, October 2022)
Processing information:

Processed by Lucy Waldrop: October 2022

Arrangement:
Organized into the following series: Interview, October 5, 2022.
Rules or conventions:
DACS

Contents

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Restrictions:

None.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Ann Milligan-Barnes Oral History Interview, Duke University Medical Center Archives.