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SEATTLE, Wash. — (May 9, 2006) — Virginia Mason Medical Center (VM) is celebrating National Nurses Week 2006 with a host of programs on May 6 through 12 to recognize the strength, commitment and compassion of nurses, and the critically important role they hold at the medical center. VM has observed this nation-wide celebration as an annual tradition for more than 20 years.

"We’re pleased to take time to say thank you for the incredible contributions our nurses make to patient care. Our nurses represent some of the leaders in this field and are the foundation of this medical center,” said Charleen Tachibana, RN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “With over a 1,000 nurses on staff, we are dedicated to recruiting and retaining the best nursing staff around.”

Nurses Week began in 1953 when Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare sent the proposal to President Eisenhower, and in 1974, President Richard Nixon officially proclaimed a ‘National Nurses Week.’  The May celebration, supported by nursing organizations across the country, coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale (May 12), founder of nursing as a modern profession.

The National Nursing Week celebration programs at Virginia Mason kicked off with a special reception for nurses on May 3 and will culminate with the 26th annual Patricia Maguire Nursing Lectureship, held in the Volney Richmond Auditorium on May 10. Ongoing programs at Virginia Mason seek to support and train nurses, such as the launch of the patient care technician (PCT) training program in 2005, which provides staff the opportunity to move into patient care positions and helps them on a career track into nursing.

"Nurses at Virginia Mason work incredibly hard to provide for the health and well-being of patients across this region. I’m proud of the work they do,” continued Tachibana.

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Alisha Mark
(206) 341-1509

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