Nurses who work with transplant patients are a giving group.
They spend hours at bedside with people who have new hearts, lungs or kidneys. In Omaha, they belong to a professional development organization — the Mid-America chapter of the International Transplant Nurses Association — so they can learn about the latest advancements in transplantation and patient care.
And, as members of the association, they take up a collection around the holidays and donate the proceeds to charity.
The local chapter gave $395 to The World-Herald's Goodfellows fund last year. Chapter President Lori Pritchard of Omaha said this year's donation is on the way.
The nurses choose Goodfellows because of its decades-long reputation, she said. Every dollar donated to the charity goes to providing one-time emergency assistance and holiday meal certificates to the needy. The World-Herald covers all administrative costs.
“We knew that they would be good stewards of our donation and that the money would be used to help people right here in our own community,” Pritchard said in an email.
The local group has 12 members, many of whom work with transplant patients at the Nebraska Medical Center. It meets every other month to hear speakers, usually medical center physicians who talk about transplant-related issues, research and development.
The association, founded in 1992, has about 1,500 members worldwide.
You don't have to be a nurse to join. The local chapter president isn't.
“I work at a pharmacy that cares for transplant patients, so I wanted to be involved and get to know the nurses who are caring for our mutual patients,” said Pritchard, who is senior national account manager with the Omaha-based Amber Pharmacy.