NEW YORK NURSE: June 2011
by Alison Munday
Mary Kohl, an Olean General Hospital OB/GYN per diem nurse and full-time employee of Saint Bonaventure University’s Department of Health Services, was recognized for 25 years of service to the university. A registered nurse for more than four decades, Kohl joined Saint Bonaventure’s department of health services in 1984 as a staff RN. She held the position of director of Health Services from 1993-2009. A graduate of Alfred State College, Kohl served for 16 years as adviser to the volunteer student Medical Emergency Response Team, accompanying student delegations to national Emergency Medical Services conferences. She has worked with a number of university committees and task forces, including the Commission for the Responsible Use of Alcohol, committees for Disabilities Awareness, Environmental Health & Safety, Emergency Preparedness Planning, and the University Governance Task Force.
Peggy Jenkins, a professor of nursing at Hartwick College, Oneonta, and former member of the editorial board for The Journal of the New York State Nurses Association, has written and published her first book, Nurse to Nurse: ECG Interpretation. It is available through McGraw Hill Publishers. The book—written during an academic sabbatical in the fall—aims to provide novice and expert nurses easily accessible information on rhythms and dysrhythmias. Considered a pocket guide for working nurses, Nurse to Nurse: ECG Interpretation offers peer-to-peer guidance to assist in learning and remembering the different ECG rhythms most often encountered in everyday clinical practice. Using tables and other features, Jenkins explains how to interpret sinus, atrial and junction rhythms, atrioventricular heart blocks, myocardial infarction and changes found in patients with pacemakers. She credits experience gained as a member of Journal’s editorial board — writing guest editorials and reviewing manuscripts for publication — as helping her to become an author. In turn, she now works closely with Hartwick College nursing students, who are interested in writing for publication.
Mary J. Finnin, secretary of the NYSNA Board of Directors and vice-president of the Foundation of New York State Nurses, was honored by the Suffolk County League of Women Voters at their annual convention, with the 2011 Liberty Award for advocating for patients and healthcare services in Suffolk County. The Liberty Award is given to “individuals or organizations whose passion, leadership, and action have had a significant impact on a priority issue of the League of Women Voters.” Finnin, a retired HIV/AIDS primary care nurse coordinator with the Suffolk County Health Department, was commended for continuing to fight for nurses and their collective bargaining rights, for her overall knowledge of the county health system, and being able to foresee problems in the delivery of healthcare services in the wake of cutbacks. She was lauded as a woman who “can speak forcefully for the health needs of all county residents when it is necessary… she is known and respected by the health community, has a major impact on the decision-making of county legislators, and has informed us, as League members, why we should be concerned about maintaining good primary care for all.”
With sadness, we report the passing of American Nurses Association (ANA) Past President Jo Eleanor Elliott in Boulder, Colorado on May 1 at the age of 87. Elliott, a native of Warrensburg, Missouri earned her baccalaureate in nursing from the University of Michigan—subsequently joining the faculty there—and her master’s in nursing from the University of Chicago. She served two terms as ANA president from 1964 to 1968, a critical period as the ANA championed the creation of the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, and she was present at the White House when the Medicare bill-signing took place in 1965. Her appointment in 1980 as director of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Division of Nursing made Elliott one of the top-ranking nurses in U.S. government, and in 1997 The American Academy of Nursing named her a “Living Legend.” From 1957 to 1980, Elliott headed the Western Council on Higher Education for Nursing (WCHEN), a consortium of more than 150 college nursing schools in 13 western states working to improve the quality of nursing education and increase the supply of registered nurses. With a particular interest in developing nurses’ research skills, she launched an annual research conference in 1968 that continues to this day. Elliott was integral to establishing partnerships between nursing faculty and college deans that led to new nursing programs, and laid the foundation that enabled more nurses to pursue advanced degrees. Elliott was recognized by President Obama “for the courage and leadership she showed” in his speech at the 2010 ANA House of Delegates meeting. A memorial service in her honor was held on May 6, the first day of National Nurses Week, in Boulder.