Not even heavy rain and tornado warnings could stop St. Luke’s Foundation’s Friends of Nursing Fashion Show and Luncheon. The annual event filled the main ballroom of the River Oaks Country Club to raise money for the organization that helps nurses further their education. To date, Friends of Nursing has provided fellowships, tuition and financial support to 170 deserving men and women since its inception in 1989.
Through events like the luncheon, Friends of Nursing raises money throughout the year to offer fellowships to full-time employees of Baylor-St. Luke’s Medical Center. These fellowships not only give employees money for tuition, but they can also work reduced hours still receiving full-time pay and benefits while they finish their education.
“These men and women work tirelessly to provide care to those who are most vulnerable,” said luncheon chair Tracy Levit Larner. “They are the heart and soul of the hospital and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for the work they do.”
The fashion show featured the newest looks from Neiman Marcus modeled by recipients of the Friends of Nursing fellowships who traded in their scrubs for stilettos.
This year, nine nurses from Baylor St. Luke’s received fellowships in addition to Aleem Ahamad, the recipient of the 2016 Friends of Nursing Becky Trotter Award for Excellence. Ahmad has been working at Baylor St. Luke’s for the past 15 years. In 2006, his dream of pursing an advanced degree was made possible when he received a Friends of Nursing fellowship.
“The greatest motivator for me as a nurse is compassion. When I was 15, my mom was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, which she eventually died from,” Ahamad said. “I knew I wanted to be a nurse, but could not afford to go to school. I worked full time to get through junior college to become a respiratory therapist and would not have been able to get my bachelor’s degree without the Friends of Nursing Fellowship.”
Baylor St. Luke’s and Friends of Nursing truly believe in the importance of empowering nurses to pursue their dreams and become the best care providers they can be.
“The profession of nursing has always been near and dear to my heart,” said Gay Nord, president of Baylor-St. Luke’s Medical Center. “My mother was an RN and was nurse at St. Luke’s when I was growing up, so I feel like I have come full-circle. This organization makes a difference in the lives of our nurses, just as these nurses make a difference in the lives of our patients.”
Money raised from the luncheon will continue to support these vital fellowships. This year, in honor of the late Denton A. Cooley and his wife Louise, also a nurse, another fellowship will be made available to Baylor-St. Luke’s nurses.
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