Celebrating Nurse Appreciation Week

Nurses have always played an important role in my life. My grandfather was the first male nurse at St. Vincent Hospital, and went on to become a physician. My Aunt Marion (Dr. Barber’s sister) was the Director of Nursing by day at St. Vincent, and at night was the caregiver of neighbors in need on Erie’s East side (then known as “Kingtown.”)

Aunt Marion was certainly a mentor for my late sister JoAnne, who knew that she wanted to be a nurse even as a preteen. To my Dad, a nursing degree meant that JoAnne could not go to St. Mary’s College, but she could go to Georgetown. JoAnne loved being the Litchfield school nurse, and often shared stories of helping children and families.

And so, as we celebrate Nurses Appreciation Week, I’d like to take a moment to recognize the Elizabeth Lee Black School nurses, Keri Moore, Helen Boyer, and Etta Loreti. I know that we are fortunate to have such dedicated, caring nurses in our school. Keri, Helen, and Etta can always be counted on to respond to student’s medical needs calmly, with expert nursing care and a smile.

I thought that I would ask them a few questions to gain insight into their work at the Barber National Institute and the Elizabeth Lee Black School.

Keri started with us in August 2021 and had worked for Saint Vincent Hospital prior to her joining us. She says, “We have the most amazing staff!  Everyone here at ELBS has a heart of gold.  Watching the teachers and staff interact with these students every day is truly inspiring!  From top to bottom, everyone who works here goes above and beyond to care for and educate our students.  Administration does a great job making sure their employees feel valued and appreciated.  We really have a great team and I’m so blessed to be a part of it.”

Helen joined the Barber National Institute in 2005 where she worked in the Adult Program until coming to the school in May 2021, Helen says, “I love working with my coworkers. They are all very caring and patient people. Because I am relatively new, I found I can count on everyone here for accurate information, to best care for each child. And of course there’s the Children, I love caring for them; they are good for my soul. I will be here till I retire.”

Etta has been with the Barber National Institute for 6 year and the Elizabeth Lee Black School for 9 months. Before coming the the Barber National Institute, she worked at Perseus House and Sarah Reed Children’s Center. Etta enjoys the friendly staff, cheerful school environment and working with the children. She also likes helping people and seeing them improve.

On behalf of our students and faculty, thank you Keri, Helen, and Etta for everything you do to help make dreams come true for our children and their families.

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