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Doctor, Practice Honor Nurse with Gift to Establish Education Fund in Her Name

Doctor, Practice Donate $50,000 to Honor Nurse

The bill to send Winchester Hospital nurses to nursing conferences will be paid in part by a doctor who’s grateful for his close relationship with the nursing staff — and one nurse in particular.

Mohammed Jaleel, MD, and his practice, Winchester Hospital Inpatient Physicians, have made a $50,000 gift to start a fund named after Marlene Williamson, RN, MSN. Marlene, Winchester’s beloved assistant chief nursing officer, is retiring in July after 40 years. “She’s got your back,” Dr. Jaleel said.

When Marlene announced her retirement, hospital leaders knew they needed to do something in her honor, and Dr. Jaleel urged them to include him in those plans.

A plan comes together

With Dr. Jaleel’s enthusiastic support, the hospital created the Marlene Williamson, RN, Fund for Nursing Excellence.

“He’s always been such a phenomenal benefactor to Winchester Hospital, but specifically the nurses,” Marlene said. “He has respect for the nurses, and whatever we need from him, he’s always our go-to person. A phenomenal physician.”

With all the pieces in place, the hospital’s senior leaders invited Marlene to a meeting and surprised her with the good news about her namesake fund. “It caught me by surprise,” she said. “I started to cry.” Everyone in the conference room gave Marlene a standing ovation.

“It’s the way you want to retire — to leave a legacy,” she said. “My whole career has been about creating a culture and environment where nurses can do their best work and have a strong voice in how they practice.”

 

A transformative gift

The Marlene Williamson, RN, Fund for Nursing Excellence will pay for Winchester Hospital nurses to attend educational conferences where they will learn new skills that they then bring back to their colleagues.

The impact will be far-reaching. “One nurse goes to a conference, comes back, and changes the practice,” Marlene explained. “Five hundred nurses who work here will incorporate the information from that conference and care will improve. It’s transformative.”

Dr. Jaleel agrees that continuing education is a necessity. “Nurses have to be current,” he said. “We need to create a resource for them to further their education on a regular basis.”

The positive culture at Winchester is all due to Marlene’s influence, said Dr. Jaleel, noting the “complete, candid and seamless relationship between nurses and physicians.”

It’s clear that the entire hospital will miss Marlene as she retires and that whoever replaces her will have much to live up to. “My only hope is that whoever follows Marlene will have the same vision and values,” said Dr. Jaleel. “Hopefully, we can continue on the same path.”