Investing in our Nurses

COVID-19 spurs need for nursing education 

For the past 15 years, proceeds from the annual James F. McDonough, MD, Golf Classic have enabled more than 100 registered nurses (RN’s) at Winchester Hospital to obtain their bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament, scheduled for September 14, has been canceled. 

However, Winchester Hospital still needs financial support to develop its workforce and educate nurses. After many nurses risked their lives to care for COVID-19 patients, gifts to the McDonough Fund are a tangible way of showing them how valued and appreciated they are.

James F. McDonough was a beloved OB/GYN who spent 43 years at Winchester Hospital and delivered more than 17,000 babies. Dr. McDonough believed that educated nurses provided the best patient care and was insistent that the community should help nurses to further their education and obtain certifications. 

In 2018, Deb Tarnowski, RN, BSN, spoke at the golf tournament and credited the McDonough Fund with “changing her life.” Thanks to grants from the Fund, she was able to get her bachelor’s degree and, later, a certification in infection prevention and control (CIC). Tarnowski started at Winchester in 1993 as a registered nurse with her associate’s degree. “The Fund definitely furthered my career,” Tarnowski said. “It made me an expert in infection prevention.”

Deb has been nothing less than a superhero during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been a leader in infection prevention, educating all staff on the proper use of PPE (personal protective equipment), as well as other methods to decrease the transmission of the virus, and protect employees and patients.