NEW YORK NURSE: March 2008
Rebecca Gamboa and her daughters Michelle and Sheryl Gamboa were featured in the Winter 2008 issue of WeHeal New York, a newsletter published by Continuum Health Partners, Inc. The article, “A Family Affair,” focused on the family of RNs, who work at St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan. Rebecca works several floors above her daughters, who work in the emergency department. Even though two of the three work night shifts, they admit to seeing more of each other at work than at home. Rebecca Gamboa moved from the Philippines to the U.S. and began working at St. Luke’s in the early ’90s. She encouraged both of her daughters to consider nursing as a career. Michelle, now 32, has worked at St. Luke’s for five years; her sister Sheryl, 27, for two and a half. According to Sheryl, “A lot of patients will ask, ‘Is your mom upstairs? Can you ask her to put my IV in? It’s nice when they know us.’ Sheryl and Michelle often send patients up to their mom’s floor with the encouragement to say hello to her, helping them to feel they know someone on the floor when they arrive. Sheryl says, “It’s so nice to be able to learn from your own family. I’ve learned a lot from my mother and sister.”
Anne Bové, president of the local bargaining unit at Bellevue Hospital Center, was a recent guest on Healthstyles, the only nurse-produced radio program in New York City. She was interviewed by NYSNA member Diana Mason. Bové spoke about the three-year struggle by HHC nurses to secure the same pension benefits as other “physically taxing occupations” in the city. Employees with that designation may retire early with full benefits. Bové explained that although nurses suffer more back injuries than construction workers, they, along with carpenters, gardeners, and pest control officers, are eligible for early retirement, while nurses – predominantly female – are excluded. She acknowledged that politicians might be afraid that more nurses would leave the City workforce. “What they fail to see is that there will be no one left anyway!” she said. “I can retire at 55, and will – postponing that is not going to enhance their ability to recruit.” According to Bové, designating nursing as physically taxing could be a recruitment and retention tool, because the City would be offering a benefit that no private sector employer could match.
We were saddened by the passing of Dr. Mary E. Carnegie on Feb. 20. Dr. Carnegie was featured in the February 2008 issue of New York Nurse in celebration of Black History Month. Her contributions to nursing and the advancement of civil rights have been immeasurable. Contributions in Dr. Carnegie’s memory may be made to the Dr. M. Elizabeth Carnegie Endowed Fund at Howard University, College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, Sixth & W Streets, NW, Annex II, Washington, DC 20059.
Deborah Elliott has been appointed deputy executive officer of the New York State Nurses Association. Elliott had been an associate director in the NYSNA Education, Practice & Research Program since 2006. Prior to that appointment, she served as executive director of the Maternal Infant Network of the Capital Region and director of clinical practice at St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady, where she also worked for 10 years as director of Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, and Infusion Therapy. Elliott earned her diploma in nursing at Albany Memorial School of Nursing and her BSN at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She also has a master’s degree in business administration from Union College in Schenectady. “I am thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to join the leadership team at NYSNA,” said Elliott. “As I see it, there’s no better place to be if you want to take part in ensuring that the profession of nursing is strong, thriving, and validated.” Elliott fills the position previously held by Tina Gerardi, who was appointed NYSNA chief executive officer in 2007.