Healthcare Staff Honored | COVID Information & Info

Last week, the US death toll from COVID-19 reached the one million milestone. During the pandemic, we read many stories of the selfless contributions made by our healthcare workers, and the struggles they encountered.

On Saturday May 7, the Sampson International Nursing Society honored nurses everywhere for their contributions in the gallant battle against this deadly disease, which affected so many people in Southwest Florida, and globally.

The Sampson International Nursing Society’s goal is to provide students with educational grants to obtain degrees in nursing and a wide range of other health care professions.

The Naples-based organization held their first annual Nurses Week event to coincide with National Nurses Week, which ran from May 6 through May 12, the birthday of celebrated nurse Florence Nightingale. The event was held in Naples at Freedom Park on Golden Gate Parkway.

“Nurses serve as the backbone of the healthcare system. These challenging times have further pointed out the importance of their role on the frontlines at all levels of healthcare. As such, we are diligently working to help fund those that wish to join us in our proud profession,” said Sampson International Nursing Society founder and CEO, Linda F. Hill, LPN.

Hill was joined by Barbara Belkoff, the non-profit organization’s president, to welcome close to 75 attendees and participants.

Among the participants were 30 nursing students from the Nova Southeastern University campus in Fort Myers, including Sampson’s Board Member and Campus Director Edward Franco. Also in attendance were 11 nurses and staff from Vitas Hospice in Naples, General Manager Robert Johnson, RN and his wife, individuals from Avow Hospice, Collier County school employees and other community members.

Other members of the Sampson Board are Vice President Isoline Litchmore, Treasurer Milsa Melissa Palacios, Secretary Patricia Pruss, Joe Paterno of Career Source of Southwest Florida, Kim Borselli of Fuller Funeral Home and C. Todd Morrison of Lee Health.

Corporal Juan Cordero of Cape Coral was the event’s chaplain, who carried the Colors during the service. The Gulf Coast Retired Firefighters Association provided their Engine 343, which is meant to honor firefighters lost during 9-11-01.

The event, “A Walk in My Shoes,” honored the nurses and healthcare professionals who lost their lives during the pandemic. The event brought attention to the sacrifices made during the last three years by healthcare workers who worked diligently helping those in need.

This year, Sampson’s International Nursing Society hopes to raise $50,000 to provide financial assistance for students working towards degrees in nursing and healthcare.

To learn more about the organization, how to volunteer or donate, visit www.sampsons-nurses.orgemail sampsonsnurses@gmail.com or call 239-370-7133.

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