PROVIDENCE – At its third annual Nightingale Gala held on April 13, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association and the Rhode Island Institute for Nursing awarded first lady Stephanie Chafee Rhode Island Nursing Hall of Fame honors.
“Stephanie Chafee exemplifies a true nurse leader; her commitment to access for health care for all Rhode Islanders and her role in providing care for HIV patients in Rhode Island shows how much she cares,” said Donna Policastro, executive director for the Rhode Island Nurses Association. “Stephanie is well-respected in the nursing community and deserves a place in the Rhode Island Nurses Hall of Fame.”
Chafee, a registered nurse, was one of the first nurses in Rhode Island to work exclusively with HIV/AIDS patients. She helped start the Rhode Island Free Clinic in South Providence, which provides health care to the uninsured. She is co-founder of Women Ending Hunger and a community health care advocate.
At the event, which honors nurses and the nursing profession, Joanne Dooley was chosen as nurse leader of the year; Jean Taft was chosen as clinical practical nurse of the year; Amy Carty was honored as nurse leader in an academic setting; Charlene Draleau was honored as clinical nurse educator; Irene Watson was chosen as advanced practice nurse of the year; and Donna L. O’Connor was chosen as nurse of the year in a nontraditional setting. •