To care. To heal. To excel. In service to our community.
That is Winchester Hospital’s mission. An essential part of the mission is an educated, well-prepared nursing workforce. To help achieve that goal, the James F. McDonough, MD, Fund for Nurse Education and Development was established in 2002. Money for this fund is raised primarily through the annual James F. McDonough, MD, Golf Classic, and it provides scholarships to qualified nurses wishing to expand their knowledge and expertise.
The fund was named in tribute to the late Dr. McDonough, a beloved obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced for 43 years at Winchester Hospital and had the highest regard and respect for the nursing profession. To date, the fund has provided about $3 million in financial support for hundreds of Winchester Hospital employees. Currently, 57 employees are enrolled in the program and are expected to graduate between 2016 and 2018. The fund also has reimbursed 246 RNs for certification in their specialty areas.
“This is such a unique program for a community hospital,” said Mary Beth Strauss, DNP, RN, Director of Quality and Patient Safety and Magnet Program. “By advancing education, Winchester Hospital really supports our nurses and how we practice. We are committed to having more highly educated nurses in order to achieve better patient outcomes.”
Qualified nurses interested in enrolling in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program may apply to the fund and receive up to $10,000 in tuition reimbursement. Periodically, the fund has been able to assist nurses involved in other educational pursuits such as surgical first assistant training, wound specialty training, master’s degrees and even doctoral degrees in nursing. Strauss added that she, too, has benefited from the fund, which allowed her to complete her doctorate.
McDonough Fund recipient Liz Mantica, RN, is currently working toward her BSN at Southern New Hampshire University. She began at Winchester Hospital 20 years ago as a technician, became a nurse in 2003 and has worked in the Emergency Department for 13 years. She hopes to finish the program next summer.
“I enjoy education and appreciate the opportunity to do this,” Mantica explained. “This is such an incredible gift. I can go to college and it’s paid for by the fund. How do you say ‘no’ to that? If not for the McDonough Fund, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
There is also a multigenerational component. Mantica mentioned her two daughters, one of whom recently graduated from college and will pursue an advanced degree. “It is beneficial and inspirational for them to see me working so hard toward something. Plus we have a history at Winchester Hospital,” she added. “I was born there. And my 92-year-old mother, who still lives in Winchester, was a member of the Winton Club.”
And, yes, Liz’s mother is very proud!