TMC Nurses Donate to Charities and the Celis Family

Nurses at Tucson Medical Center honored national Nurses Week Wednesday by giving financial support to three Arizona charities and to the family of 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis.

Instead of a nursing gift, TMC for the first time provided its roughly 1,150 nurses, as well as its patient care technicians, behavioral health technicians, speech therapists and unit clerks, wooden tokens worth $1 that they could distribute to the designated charities.

 The charities were selected as those that reflected TMC’s values.

It was an emotional moment when Becky Celis, a nurse at TMC, arrived with her husband, Sergio.

“The news of Isabel’s disappearance not only shocked and saddened the Tucson community, but also sent the TMC community into action,” said TMC President and CEO Judy Rich. “TMC nurses could not have donated to a more worthy cause than helping their fellow co-worker, Becky, and her family with a donation to assist in the search for Isabel.”

Rich said the TMC staff hopes and prays that Isabel will soon be reunited with her family.

Becky Celis thanked her coworkers, saying the resources will be used to increase awareness in the hopes of bringing her daughter home. “Thank you so much for the love we’ve received from TMC,” she said. Sergio Celis also expressed his thanks. “Thank you so much for all your prayers,” he said.

Kris French from the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona noted that every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $9.50 worth of food. “Since you’re in the health care business, you know how important it is to have nourishment,” she said, adding one of four clients is a child.

Genna Dreier of Integrative Touch for Kids said every dollar will go back to helping children and their families by introducing them to a multitude of therapies, from meditation to massage. “We are so grateful we can give back to the community in the way you have given to us,” Dreier said.

The staff also supported the Judge Marks Employee Assistance Fund, which provides financial assistance to TMC employees to help them get through hard times.

“The fact that this goes back to employees is so touching,” said Donna Morton of the TMC Foundation, noting it was because of a grateful patient and his family that the fund was started in the first place. That kind of goodwill, she said, hinges greatly on strong nursing care.

Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Young said she was particularly pleased that the idea of donating to charities originated with the nursing staff. “Nurses already do so much for the community, but the fact it came from them just makes it even better,” she said.

The checks were presented at the annual “Nurses Wear White” event, meant to commemorate the tradition of nursing. Nurses, who wore white for the occasion, were honored with white roses and white cake at the event.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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