BIDMC nurses aid Japan quake relief
As part of its National Nurses Week celebration, BIDMC nurses have donated $5,000 to the Red Sox Foundation in support of ongoing relief efforts in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March.
The Red Sox Foundation, the team's official charity, will include the donation in its collection for the Red Cross Society of Japan. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox.
The award was presented Tuesday at the annual nursing awards ceremony held at Fenway Park, where more than $148,000 in nursing scholarships will be awarded to 41 BID scholarship winners. Meg Vaillancourt, Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation, Tomoyo Matsusaka, wife of Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Yuka Okajima, wife of relief pitcher Hideki Okajima, accepted the donation. Both the Matsuzakas and Okajimas have made significant contributions to the Red Cross Society of Japan and remain active in the Red Sox Foundation's fundraising efforts to support relief efforts in their homeland.
"Our nurses are the heart of BIDMC," said Marsha Maurer, RN, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and BIDMC's Nurse-in-Chief. "And this donation is our way of saying our hearts go out to the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan."
"On behalf of the many people who continue to struggle in Japan, we are honored to accept this generous donation from the highly skilled professional nurses at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center," said Vaillancourt. "Every day, they give their all to help individuals and families who are facing life threatening illness and injuries here in New England. That they should also offer their support to those half a world away speaks volumes about their compassion and their sense of duty to help those in need. They are clearly true MVPs."
"Thank you so much for what you are doing for Japan," said Matsuzaka. "A lot of people are struggling from the disaster and it will take a long time to recover. I know how hard you all work, and how hard your work is, so thank you for thinking of Japan."
Japan is so far away from here so it is very touching that you would think about all the people struggling over there," added Okajima. "This gift means so much."
Scholarship funds come from a number of endowments and funds that have been given to BIDMC to support nursing education. Criteria used for selecting recipients included exemplary academic standing in an associate, baccalaureate, graduate or post graduation nursing degree program and recommendation by an immediate manager as well as a nursing faculty manager. Winners have also demonstrated expected levels of practice.
From left, Maya Jose, RN, Tomoyo Matsuzaka, Yuka Okajima, Marsha Maurer, BIDMC's Senior Vice President of Patient care Services and Nurse-in-Chief, and Roslyn Bentick-Evans, RN.Matsuzaka and Okajima accepted a check for $5,000 from BIDMC nurses in support of the Red Sox Foundation for Japan Quake Relief. The donation was part of the medical center's celebration of National Nurses Week. (Photo by Brendan Gauthier/Boston Red Sox)