1. Mason, Diana J. PhD, RN, FAAN, editor-in-chief

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This year's AJN-Beatrice Renfield Caring for the Caregiver Award, an annual honor given to a philanthropist who has benefited nursing, goes to Samuel and Annette Levine for their longstanding support of nursing at Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Figure. Beatrice Ren... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Beatrice Renfield

The Levines' commitment to nursing began after personal experiences with nurses. Wounded during World War II, Samuel recalls waking up to find a nurse caring for him. He still remembers her name. He and Annette had been contributing to Dartmouth-Hitchcock for some years when Samuel became a patient in early 2000. In 2002 the Levines endowed the Levine Nursing Continuing Education Award to cover fees and expenses for nurses who wanted to attend clinical conferences.


In 2005 the Levines established the Annette R. and Samuel M. Levine Endowment for Nursing Excellence, the largest gift in support of nursing ever made to Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The Levines' quite visible support-attending many nursing celebrations and working with then senior nurse executive Nancy Formella to prioritize initiatives-has helped stimulate other donations to nursing, enabling the creation of the Levine Center of Nursing Excellence.


"The generosity of the Levines has been instrumental in our efforts to create a strong, professional community of nurses," says acting senior nurse executive Linda von Reyn, PhD, RN. "In times of fiscal constraint, it's so beneficial for the nursing community to have resources to acknowledge the hard work of nurses."


Wendy Aarnio, RN, CRN, is one of the nurses who've benefited from the Levines' support, which enabled her to attend the American Radiological Nurses Association's national education conference. This has helped her look at her practice in a different way and feel more confident about suggesting improvements.


"For example," she says, "I shared clinical information I learned from lectures on neurointerventional procedures and the treatment of liver tumors, which has helped us plan department practices. Another class discussed internal quality assessment in interventional radiology, which we've used to assist us in developing quality-assessment projects."


Beatrice Renfield was committed to "caring for the caregivers." The annual award, created in 2003, honors a recipient selected from nominations submitted to the journal by institutions across the country. The selection committee is composed of AJN editorial staff members, RNs in New York City, and representatives from the Beatrice Renfield Foundation. She would have cheered Samuel and Annette Levine for their unwavering understanding and support of the contributions of nurses to the health and well-being of people. On her behalf, AJN salutes these recipients of the 2006 AJN-Beatrice Renfield Caring for the Caregiver Award.

Figure. Annette and ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Annette and Samuel Levine. Courtesy of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, editor-in-chief