Keisha Gilles, assistant director of public affairs at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, has described as “phenomenal” last Saturday’s historic, celebratory luncheon for the Kings County School of Nursing Alumni.
Gilles said about 100 nurses traveled from various parts of the country to celebrate the Brooklyn hospital’s legacy and their contribution to healthcare.
The event was held at the expansive hospital’s “T” Building Auditorium, where nursing students lived and graduated 65 years ago.
Gilles said the event was coordinated by Registered Nurse Veronica Hunko (Class of ‘69) and Dolores Shrimpton, alumni president.
She said graduates from 1953 -1977 traveled from Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York for the celebratory event.
During the event, Gilles said welcome and greetings were given by Sheldon P. McLeod, Kings County Hospital’s chief executive officer, and Opal Sinclair-Chung, chief nursing officer.
“It was a reminiscent affair,” Gilles said, adding that nursing alumni expressed their “fond memories of nursing school training and caring for the patients at ‘The County,’”
“We are proud to continue to carry the torch of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence,” Sinclair-Chung said.
Gilles said it was “a spectacular home-coming event,” at which attendees enjoyed the luncheon, network and tour of the new and old hospital facilities.
“It is great to see that the new hospital facility matches the excellent care that has always been given to the patients,” Gilles quoted one attendee as saying.
“This solidarity speaks volumes about the dedication and excellent patient care NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County provides for the Brooklyn Community and beyond,” Gilles said.
She said Kings County School of Nursing was founded 121 years ago, in 1897.
In 1969, Gilles said the first male student was admitted into the nursing program.
She said, currently, two graduates of the program are full-time employees in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric units.
“Founded in 1831, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County is a staple in the Brooklyn community, committed to providing exceptional healthcare services for over 180 years,” Gilles said.