Gold Foundation honors nursing leader Polly Bednash at 2019 International Nurses Day at the United Nations

Nonprofit Nurses With Global Impact celebrates by recognizing exemplary nurses who impact the global delivery of healthcare

We live-streamed this event! Did you miss it? Watch the video here.

Nurses With Global Impact, a nonprofit organization with the mission to connect, support and celebrate the work of nurses everywhere, will host its third annual celebration of International Nurses Day at the United Nations (UN). The event honors 21 nurses from around the world who are impacting lives with quality care and comfort and serving as role models for future generations of care givers.

As part of the celebration, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation will be honoring Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN. Dr. Bednash is a pioneering leader in nursing education and advocacy. She served as a Board member of the Gold Foundation (2014-2018), and currently sits on the Gold Foundation Chairman’s Council.

Dr. Bednash is the former Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and former head of the association’s legislative and regulatory advocacy programs as director of government affairs. She was most recently appointed to the Board of Stewardship Trustees for Common Spirit Health, reporting directly to the Vatican in Rome. Dr. Bednash is being honored for her global efforts to improve nursing policy and educational capacity, including through the Global Alliance for Nursing Education and Science (GANES), of which she was a founding member, and the International Council of Nurses. Dr. Bednash also served as an Army Nurse Corps staff nurse in Vung Tau, Vietnam. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Australian Catholic University.

“Polly is a transformational leader,” said Dr. Richard I. Levin, President and CEO of the Gold Foundation. “She is a tireless advocate for nurses and patients, and through every challenge, no matter how difficult, she brings her own bright light of humanity and laughter. She is the epitome of a humanistic nursing leader, and we are so pleased to honor her at the International Nurses Day at the United Nations.”

WHAT: Third Annual International Nurses Day at the UN
WHEN: Friday, May 10, 2019 at 10:00 AM
WHERE: United Nations Headquarters, 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10017
WHO: Keynote addresses from leaders in global medicine including:

  • Marcus Engel M.S., CSP, CPXP, speaker, educator, author and co-founder of the “I’m Here” movement.
  • Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN, 2018 recipient of the “Inspiring Global Nurse Award.” Ms. McDermott-Levy will present her findings on climate-related health impacts in Finland.

International Nurses Day at the UN was created by Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski, who is also a Board member of the Gold Foundation. International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world annually on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing’s birth, honoring the remarkable contributions nurses make to society. The U.S. extends the celebration to National Nursing Week each year from May 6 to May 12.

“Much has changed since Florence Nightingale’s time, but the gifts nurses give to us all – the compassion, selfless care, and empathy – stand strong as the hallmark of this noble and critical profession,” said Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski, founder, Nurses With Global Impact, Inc. “The growing participation and recognition of this event continues to exceed my expectations and demonstrates the love and admiration held for nurses everywhere.”

The event will recognize the following honorees for their outstanding leadership, creativity and compassion in the field of nursing:

  1. Thandi Mgcina
  2. Catherine Rochford
  3. Michelle (Mickey) Wilder
  4. Nina Ng
  5. Judy Colorado
  6. Tim Murphy
  7. Courtney Pladsen
  8. Geraldine (Polly) Bednash
  9. Marcia Levine
  10. Robin Toft Klar
  11. Honghong Wang
  12. Suha Muhammad Oweinah
  13. Maureen Gibbons
  14. Faiza Essa Toma Hanna
  15. Hewa Faiq Omar
  16. Mary W. Wetherall
  17. Sarah Rubino
  18. Sister Jackline Mayaka
  19. Elissa Ladd
  20. Eileen Carrigg Specchio
  21. Susana Paola Godoy Hidalgo

Contributing sponsors for the event include Philips, BD, Hackensack Meridian Health, Northwell Health, RWJ Barnabas Health, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, Western Connecticut Health Network, American Nurses Credentialing Center, Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center, Henry Schein Cares, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Stanley, Marion, Paul and Edward Bergman Family foundation, and the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Co-Sponsors who generously gave of time and talent include the Order of Malta Mission at the UN, Malteser-International, Order of Malta, American Association, the Holy Family Hospital Foundation, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, and RAD-AID, International.

Stories about the work of the honorees are available on the Nurses With Global Impact website.

Tickets are available here.