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Nurses make donation to Monongahela Valley Hospital

| Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, 6:42 p.m.
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The Mon Valley Nurses Association recently donated $1,500 to Monongahela Valley Hospital for patient care items. From left are Mon Valley Nurses Association Vice President Dolores Stark of Charleroi, President Carolyn Manown of Belle Vernon and Treasurer Virginia Saunders of Belle Vernon; with Mary Lou Murt, MVH Senior Vice President of Nursing. ANot present were association officers Secretary Carolyn Kmetz of Perryopolis and Historian Sue Dunlop of Belle Vernon.

Patients at Monongahela Valley Hospital will benefit from a recent $1,500 donation from local nurses.

The Mon Valley Nurses Association, a group of 56 active and retired nurses, offered the funds in January for the nursing department to buy needed patient care items. Hospital officials used the money to purchase blood pressure devices, bedside equipment and pulse oximetry equipment, which measures the oxygen content in a patient's bloodstream.

“(We) can find out right away if they're in distress and we need to administer oxygen, call the physician,” said Mary Lou Murt, senior vice president of nursing at Mon Valley Hospital. “Mainly it's so we can know whether to administer oxygen. It's just quicker.”

Some of the funds also helped to buy razors for male patients.

“Hospital equipment is kind of costly, so we really are happy when we get a directed donation to the nursing department,” Murt said. “(We) use it for things to make our patients feel better.”

Over the Mon Valley Nurses Association's decades of work, it has donated to many hospital projects, helping to fund initiatives such as construction and equipment upgrades, association treasurer Virginia Saunders said.

They raise money through dues, fundraisers and member donations.

The group was formed in 1938 by a group of private duty nurses and eventually became the Mon Valley Nurses Association. Today, the group meets monthly to listen to a speaker discuss a topic related to nursing.

Saunders worked as a private duty nurse, as well as a nurse at Charleroi-Monessen Hospital and at Mon Valley Hospital. She's now retired.

In addition to its fundraising efforts, the group provides an annual scholarship benefitting a student in nursing school, she said.

In 1956, the scholarship began as a $199.44 donation. Now, it provides about $1,600.

So far, 57 students have benefited from the scholarships.

Murt lauded the group's work.

“We really appreciate all that they do for us and the donation definitely we appreciate,” Murt said.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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