Professor Catherine Alicia Georges, the Chair of the Nursing department, had her name entered into the Congressional Record in recognition of the role she played in creating National Black Nurses Day, held on the first Friday of February each year.
“When I was the President of the National Black Nurses Association twenty-five years ago, I brought the idea/proposal to now former Congressman Stokes of Ohio,” Dr. Georges recalled. “He was Chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust at the time. He and Congress-man Rangel supported the idea and the First Friday of February was named National Black Nurses Day.”
Fast-forward a quarter of a century later: On March 15, 2013, Rep. Rangel, who will be holding a small business event here at the College this week, entered the following statement in the Congressional Record:
“I was pleased to cosponsor legislation, a proposal brought forth by Dr. Catherine Alicia Georges, past President of the National Black Nurses Association and Chair of the Nursing Department at Herbert H. Lehman College—The City of University of New York, that resulted in the U. S. Congress establishing the first Friday in the month of February as the day to recognize the contributions to healthcare made by Black nurses. I have a special place in my heart for the work of nurses, as my own dear sister was a retired nurse and I am keenly aware of the role that nurses, especially Black nurses have played in addressing the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of all patients—a cornerstone of this organization. I am so very appreciative for the many contributions of the Black nurses to the City of New York and our Nation.”
The recognition left Dr. Georges feeling grateful. “When someone like Congressman Rangel places your name in the Congressional Record it is a privilege and honor,” she said. “I feel great about it and appreciate the recognition.”