Johns Hopkins University Honors Donald and Barbara Jonas

New York, NY – May 31, 2011 – Donald and Barbara Jonas, founders of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, have been awarded the Johns Hopkins “Worth B. Daniels, Jr., MD Award” in recognition of their exemplary service to the University’s School of Nursing and to the nursing profession.

Presented at the university’s 135th commencement, the award was named for its inaugural recipient, a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine graduate. Daniels was a longtime nursing advocate and founding chairman of the Committee of 100, a group that encouraged physicians to contribute toward nursing scholarships. Today, the Daniels award honors individuals who have shown extraordinary devotion to Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing’s (JHUSON). The Jonases are the first recipients of the award since it was established and awarded to Daniels in 2005.

“Our strength as an institution and a profession comes from the collaborations we have with those organizations that recognize the importance of well-educated nurses to improve quality health care in this country,” said JHUSON Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN. “The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence has been very generous in its financial support for tomorrow’s nursing leaders.”

The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence was established by the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund in 2006 as a first-of-its kind philanthropic program dedicated advancing the nursing profession. Its work encompasses breakthrough grant programs, acting as a convener for cross-sector collaboration and spearheading efforts to shape health policy. Most notably, it has made far-reaching efforts to resolve the dire shortage of nursing faculty that impedes the education of the next generation of nurses and adversely affects patient care.

The Jonas Center partners with JHUSON on its acclaimed Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars program, which was created in 2008 as a novel initiative to support educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates. The program also prepares doctoral candidates to help students address the needs of future patients – from dealing with co-morbidities and chronic illnesses to providing culturally competent care.

Johns Hopkins is home to five of the program’s 50 Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars. The initiative currently supports scholars at nearly two dozen of the nation’s leading academic institutions. By 2014, 150 Jonas Scholars will be active in all 50 states.

“It has been an extraordinary experience to work with JHUSON, an institituion that shares our vision for growing and elevating the nursing profession,” said Barbara Jonas. “To be the only recipients of the award since it was established for Dr. Daniels is truly a humbling and gratifying honor.”

The Jonas Center’s partnership with Johns Hopkins serves as a model for training future generations of nurses, added Donald Jonas. “This partnership is giving young nurses the tools to become the change-makers our health care system desparately needs and we hope to continue our work together for many years to come.”