Founders of The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare Receive Nightingale Award, Honored by Foundation of New York State Nurses

Barbara and Donald Jonas recognized for their vision and impact on the nursing profession

NEW YORK, September 26, 2015 – Noted philanthropists Barbara and Donald Jonas, founders of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, will receive the inaugural Nightingale Award from the Center for Nursing at the Foundation of New York State Nurses at its 40th Anniversary Gala tonight.

“The Nightingale Award honors those whose actions mirror the legacy and accomplishments of Florence Nightingale: leader, mentor, educator, researcher, a woman before her time, organizer, developer, bold in the face of adversity, and passionate about nursing and patient care,” said Joan Madden Wilson, MA, RN, president, Foundation of New York State Nurses Board of Trustees and president, Health Care Placement Services, Inc.

“It is in this spirit that the Jonases have made an indelible impact – among the first to call attention to the nurse faculty shortage, they committed deeply to their vision to prepare the next generation of nurses and have supported hundreds of students and schools across the nation,” added Madden.

In 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, the leading national philanthropic funder dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans’ healthcare. These programs have supported more than 600 doctoral scholars nationwide to date. In 2016, the Jonas Center will reach a goal of supporting 1,000 Nurse Scholars.

The award will be presented by the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of New York State Nurses, whose mission is to preserve and honor the history of nursing. Endowed by two of the largest nursing alumni associations in New York, the Bellevue School of Nursing Alumnae Association and the St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association, the Foundation works to increase public understanding of how integral nurses are to the healthcare delivery system in New York. A key goal of the Foundation is to continuously advance the profession, enabling nurses to sustain care for patients with compassion, quality and expertise.

“As the Jonas Center looks forward to its 10th anniversary year, we are humbled and honored to receive the first Nightingale Award,” said Donald Jonas. “The Jonas Center began as a simple idea to care for those who care for us, and to help champion a profession that we believed was under-recognized and under-funded. Today, we are very proud of our Jonas Nurse Scholars and Alumni and anticipate a new decade of expansion and partnership to support the nurses of tomorrow.”