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May 9, 2013

Bassett award based on nurse finds its Pearl

Staff report
Cooperstown Crier

---- — “Searching for Pearls” will take place at noon on May 13 in the Clark Auditorium at Bassett Medical Center.

For the past 36 years, Bassett Medical Center has recognized nursing excellence among its staff by awarding the annual Henry Allen Moe Prize.

Dr. Moe, a former chairman of the Bassett Board of Trustees, set aside money in his will for the creation of an award that would recognize the work of great nurses. His bequest was prompted by the care of one particular nurse when he was a patient at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Brooklyn. That nurse was Pearl F. Day.

Moe said in a media release, “She gave me, and others, hope, when there were no rational grounds for hope or recovery from disabilities.”

No one was ever able to inform Day of the legacy created in her honor, but two years ago, Nancy Morris, a nurse at Bassett and previous winner of the Moe prize, found Pearl Day’s family in Maine.

They never knew about the award either and will travel to Cooperstown for this event honoring, through Pearl’s legacy, excellence in nursing.

Morris will share what she has learned from her research into the life of Pearl F. Day. The program also includes a welcome from the chief nursing officer of the Bassett Healthcare Network, Connie Jastremski, as well as a brief look at historical contributions to nursing excellence, including Florence Nightingale, and recognition of emeritus staff and past recipients of the Henry Allen Moe Prize. Refreshments will be served.