NEW YORK NURSE: April 2010
Professor Catherine Alicia Georges of Lehman College was recently appointed as a nursing fellow at the New York Academy of Medicine. Georges has chaired the Lehman Nursing Department for the last six years, is president of the National Black Nurses Foundation, and serves as chairperson on the Bronx Westchester Area Health Education Council. A NYSNA member for more than 40 years, Georges has served on the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education & Practice, the Health Care Advisory Board for former New York State Governor Mario M. Cuomo, and the advisory council for the Children’s Aid Society. A past president of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, she also continues to teach doctoral students at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan. The New York Academy of Medicine was founded in 1847, and works to address the health challenges facing the world’s urban populations. It is comprised of 2,000 fellows that embody the highest levels of achievement and leadership in the fields of medicine and health, as well as science, social work, nursing, education, law, and research.
When Montefiore Medical Center OR nurses Sandy Lapin and Valerie Kirchmann chose to present a poster on breast cancer awareness as part of Peri-Operative Nurses’ Week in November 2009, they had no idea that a short time later they would be educating women in the Andean highlands of the Republic of Ecuador. After surgical resident Dr. Lesley Taylor spoke to staff about her dream to take breast cancer awareness to a remote area of a country where breast cancer incidence is on the increase, both RNs signed up and started raising funds to make the trip. Other volunteers included medical students, residents, and a surgeon — an 18-person inter-disciplinary team in all — made up of healthcare professionals from Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. In the village of Gualaceo, treatment areas were set up for fine needle aspiration, biopsies, and surgeries. Lapin and Kirchmann taught patients about self-exams and breast care — using breast forms to illustrate how to feel for lumps — and shared brochures, posters, handouts, and giveaways. In all, more than 1,000 women were examined that week, and every patient was referred for follow-up care with a local doctor.
Since the early 1900s, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has presented awards to prominent registered nurses in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the nursing profession and the field of health care. The awards are presented at the ANA’s House of Delegates biennial meeting, which will take place in Washington, D.C. from June 16 to 20 this year. Of the 19 RNs receiving national awards this year, seven are NYSNA members. They will be honored as follows: Claire Fagin, consultant and adviser to the Jonas Center for Nursing, University of California, Davis, and Hunter College, and chair of the board of the National Senior Citizens Law Center, will receive the ANA Hall of Fame Award, as will Nettie Birnbach, a public health nurse by specialty, Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and former NYSNA president. The ANA Hall of Fame Award recognizes a lifelong commitment to nursing and impact on health and social history of the United States; Mary J. Finnin, a retired HIV/AIDS primary care nurse coordinator, vice president of the Foundation of New York State Nurses and a member of the NYSNA Board of Directors, will receive the Distinguished Membership Award for her participation and leadership in the ANA; Ani Kalayjian, a nurse psychotherapist, traumatic stress expert, professor at Fordham University and board member of the United Nations NGO Committee for Human Rights, is being recognized with the Honorary Human Rights Award for her outstanding commitment to human rights, exemplifying the essence of nursing philosophy about humanity; Claire Murray, adjunct professor at Sage Graduate School, executive director of New York Organization of Nurse Executives, and president of Nurses House, Inc., will receive the Honorary Recognition Award for distinguished national or international service to the profession; Eileen Dunn, delegate and president of the NYSNA bargaining unit at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan and a member of the NYSNA Board of Directors, is being honored with the Staff Nurse Advocacy Award for excellence in patient advocacy for staff nurses providing direct patient care; and Robert Piemonte, an adjunct professor of nursing with the College of Nursing at NYU’s College of Dentistry, and former NYSNA president, will receive the Luther Christman Award, recognizing the lifelong contribution that an individual man has made to nursing.