Hattie M. Boone chosen as ‘Local’ hero

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 9, 2003

Hattie M. Boone, the Team Coordinator of the Women’s Center at Obici Hospital, has been selected by the Suffolk Walk America steering committee to serve as its &uot;2003 Hero for Local Families.&uot;

Boone could be the perfect hero because she’s not only a member of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc., a group of registered professional nursing students founded in 1932, but she strongly supports and lives by the organizations’ motto, &uot;Service for Humanity,&uot; at work, in the community and in church.

Boone is certified in case management and as such, manages the daily operation of the Women’s Center for Labor and Delivery, Gynecological and Nursery patients. She is also a member of the Eastern Virginia Perinatal Council’s Regional Nursery and Obstetric Nurses Coalition.

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The Coalition addresses many community issues, such as access to care, pre-term labor, infant mortality and low birth weight. These issues are important components of the March of Dimes campaign to promote healthy pregnancies and to save babies.

As a nurse with more than 18 years of experience, Boone has been dedicated to the well-being of families and infants by promoting health education.

She has been an instructor in the GRADS program for pregnant teens in the Suffolk Public Schools.

The program provided pre-natal education and parenting training in the high schools to promote healthy pregnancies and to improve parenting skills.

During her nursing career, Boone has worked with many patients, coaching them through labor and delivery in times of joy, and providing comfort and support in times of sorrow.

She is also the chairperson of the Health Ministry at East End Baptist Church.

There she helped to coordinate community blood drives and health screenings in conjunction with the Foundation for Community Health Improvement Church Partnership.

Barbara Ridenhour, Vice President of Patient Care Services for Obici Hospital, holds Boone in high regard.

&uot;Hattie is a remarkable nurse, and her enthusiasm and dedication to her patients and their families is remarkable,&uot; said Ridenhour. &uot;As the Team Coordinator of the Women’s Center, she has leaded the staff to always do their very best and to always follow the Golden Rule. Hattie is an asset to Obici Hospital.&uot;

The Greater Hampton Roads Chapter of the March of Dimes recognizes a special nurse in each Walk America location, and the Suffolk WalkAmerica is set for Sunday, April 27, beginning at 12:30 p.m. An estimated 400 walkers will be gathering behind the Mills E. Godwin Courthouse complex and will start their five-mile walk at 1:30 p.m.

Festivities at the start and finish line will include costumed characters, clowns, face painting, warm-up exercises, DJ music and free hot dogs and drinks when the walkers return.

Sponsors for the 2003 Suffolk Walk include Gold Sponsor Ciba Specialty Chemicals, t-shirt sponsor QVC, start/finish sponsor Physical Therapy Works, Duke Automotive, Starr Motors, Supreme Petroleum, Lakeview Medical Center, Suffolk Public Schools, and Sharon’s Hair Designs.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available at the $500 and $100 levels. Call Bethanne D. Bradshaw, local walk committee chairperson, at 925-5500 for more information on becoming a sponsor.

Along with Bradshaw, this year’s local committee includes revenue chairman Sharon Lassister, Jackie Russell of the Suffolk Health Department, Kim Urie of Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Lori White of Obici Health Systems, Donna McIntosh of Lakeview Medical Center, Linda Story of the City of Suffolk, and Melissa Carr of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).

WalkAmerica is the March of Dimes’ largest fund-raising event.

Last year more than half a million people walked in some 1,400 communities, raising more than a million dollars.

WalkAmerica supports March of Dimes’ programs to help babies be born healthy.

More babies in this country die because of birth defects, low birth weight, and prematurity than any other cause.

Through its nationwide Campaign for Healthier Babies, the March of Dimes raises funds to support research, education and health services to overcome these critical problems.

Seventeen-month-old Ashlynn Marie Bennett is one of the children who benefits from the March of Dimes programs.

She is also this year’s Ambassador Child for the Suffolk March of Dimes WalkAmerica.

The daughter of Ray and Lorrie Bennett, she was born premature on August 26, 2001.

She battled pneumonia her first 11 days and then was transported to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters where she was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. &uot;We were blessed that our little girl came with a determination to survive and opportunities provided by the March of Dimes funded research,&uot; said Ray.

&uot;With faith in God and in the advances in open-heart surgery,&uot; Ashlynn had her first surgery when she was 15 days old at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

She spent the next 26 days in the cardiac intensive care unit, and then had to undergo a second heart operation.

When she’s about two years old, there will be another heart surgery.

Her family says that Ashlynn is a blessing with her happy personality, beautiful smile and healthy progress.

&uot;As parents, we urge support of the March of Dimes so all children will have the chance for a healthy life,&uot; added Ray.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality.

Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies.

More information is available on the March of Dimes websites at www.modimes.org and www.nacersano.org