UChicago Medicine nurses care for communities abroad

Magnet Nurses Project C.U.R.E.

To help communities around the world, more than 35 University of Chicago Medicine nurses recently volunteered at Project C.U.R.E., a not-for-profit organization that provides much-needed medical supplies and equipment to underserved third world countries.

Based in Denver, Colorado, the 32-year-old organization recently opened its 55,000-square-foot distribution center in Woodridge, Illinois, where UChicago Medicine nurses sorted, labeled and boxed unused medical supplies, preparing them for shipment. In addition, the nurses collected and donated unused medical supplies.

Sandy Mueller, Project C.U.R.E.’s Chicago area operations director, was very grateful for the nurses’ support. “Our program runs on the strength and spirit of volunteers like the UChicago Medicine nurse team. They were very enthusiastic and willing to do any task necessary to ensure we achieve our mission of delivering health and hope to the world.”

“It was inspiring to see so many nurses participate in the project and serve the less-fortunate,” said Jason Petronio, MSHA, BSN, RN, CCRN, manager of patient logistics. “To help communities overseas who suffer from inadequate access to quality health care was hugely gratifying.”

UChicago Medicine’s Magnet Champions, a team of clinical nurses who represent all areas of the hospital and help the organization to maintain its Magnet Recognition®, coordinated the volunteer effort. One of the group’s focuses was to work on a project that would allow them to give back to the community.

“Not only are our nurses passionate about the care of patients but they are just as passionate about caring for the environment and the global community,” said Becky FitzSimons, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, director of nursing programs. “Collecting supplies for and volunteering at Project C.U.R.E. was a wonderful way for our nurses to demonstrate their commitment to caring for the community beyond our institution.”

In 2018, the Medical Center received the prestigious Magnet Recognition® Program designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for excellence in nursing and patient care.