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PROUD NURSES—Norine Jenkins, Jackie Blake (PBNIA Past President) and Dawndra Jones (PBNIA President)

PROUD NURSES—Norine Jenkins, Jackie Blake (PBNIA Past President) and Dawndra Jones (PBNIA President)

On a beautiful June 18 afternoon the Pittsburgh Nurses in Action held their Eighth Annual Evelyn Paige Parker Scholarship Brunch. The luncheon carries the name of a nursing pioneer who faced a racist society to become a nurse during World War II and then devoted her life to making sure other African Americans got the support she did not.

The luncheon was rich with speakers with important messages to deliver. “Nothing stops a bullet like a job,” said keynote speaker James E. Taylor, Ph.D., UPMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Melvin El speaking on behalf of state Rep. Ed Gainey reminded the large crowd to “increase the peace not stop the violence.” The group was reminded to take a risk in life and if you fall, fall forward.

Scholarships were presented to Alison Davis a clinician at UPMC-Shadyside. She is a student at Carlow University working on her MSN. Natalie Thurman, is a student in the West Penn Nursing program. Maria Scott is a sophomore student at Duquesne University School of Nursing and Kathie Hodge a student at St. Margaret’s Hospital School of Nursing. The 2016 Living Legend: Mary Eliza Mahoney Award was presented to retired Lt. Colonel Patricia Tucker, RN. Tucker worked at St. Francis hospital for four decades all the while doing her duty in the Army Reserves becoming a Lt. Colonel. Tucker also served two terms as president of PBNIA and renamed the annual luncheon after trailblazer Evelyn Paige Parker.

The Office of Inclusion & Diversity of the Center for Engagement & Inclusion at UPMC provided $5,000 in scholarship support for the 2016 luncheon.

For more information about the Duquesne University School of Nursing, visit


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