Circle of Excellence: Greater Rochester Area Finger Lakes Chapter

Excellence in Community Education & Public Service

In the fall of 2010, the Greater Rochester Area Finger Lakes Chapter–AACN, Rochester, N.Y., board realized a gap within our chapter. Following NTI, a plan was set in motion to coordinate chapter community service activities. We knew as a leadership team that our community would benefit, but we did not realize how much it would help our chapter to grow emotionally.

The chapter elected a community service coordinator — the first of many new project nurse roles. That role quickly emerged into a leader for the community service team, which includes representatives from seven chapter hospitals.

The goals of this team included identifying a monthly community service activity that benefits a diverse population. Future goals include utilizing our members’ clinical knowledge to improve the health of the community through outreach. Our community service projects helped our members collaborate effectively.

Many members have told us during the past year how much they appreciated the opportunities to help the community. An activity near and dear to our hearts was raising money in the memory of a long time member, Paula Pitnell, for Gilda’s Club.

The money raised not only benefited the organization, but also helped heal the grief of many affected by the loss. Paula’s husband and mother were invited to the donation presentation at Gilda’s Club.

The chapter members have felt this event initiated the healing process for the family’s overwhelming grief. This one example demonstrates how our chapter continues to follow AACN’s mission of helping families in their most vulnerable times.

Our community service team has logged more than a dozen separate activities over the past two years, bringing together not only our members, but also our community.

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