Almira family establishes fund for nurses at Danbury Hospital
Danbury Hospital has received a transformational gift from the Almira family of Ridgefield, in gratitude for exceptional nursing care received by wife and mother Linda Almira during her five-year battle with cancer.
The gift in memory of Almira, a former Danbury Hospital volunteer, establishes The Linda Almira Fund for Nursing Education to provide scholarships for Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital nurses who are pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. The gift also establishes The Linda Almira Endowed Fund for Nursing Education, a permanent endowment.
During her illness, Almira received inpatient care and outpatient treatment at Danbury Hospital, its Praxair Cancer Center, and New Milford Hospital’s Diebold Family Cancer Center.
“Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital nurses were the backbone of Linda’s care in the five long years she battled cancer,” said her husband Pablito Almira. “They were always friendly, caring, and kind. Our family came to know them very well.”
Almira said that he and his children Anne Lise and Paul wanted to “pay it forward” with a gift to benefit the nursing profession as a whole, as well as Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital nurses and patients. He said the Almira family hopes scholarship recipients will use their advanced education to continue providing exceptional nursing care.
The Linda Almira Fund for Nursing Education scholarships are awarded annually in May during National Nurses Week. Ten Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital nurses have already received scholarships, including Osarugue Otasowie, RN. Otasowie cared for Almira at the Praxair Cancer Center. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nursing at Western Connecticut State University.
“I was so touched by the Almira family’s gift,” said Otasowie. “Nursing is ranked the number one most-trusted profession, and I am very proud of that. The more knowledgeable and skilled we are, the more we can do for our patients.”
Studies show that increased nursing education opportunities can improve morale and help healthcare organizations remain optimally staffed to provide the best care for patients.
“The Linda Almira Fund for Nursing Education scholarships will be a powerful incentive to attract and retain our best nurses,” said Sharon Adams, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN). “We are so grateful to the Almira family for their generous gift.”
In addition to volunteering at Danbury Hospital, Almira volunteered at Ridgefield Meals on Wheels, the Ridgefield Library, the Women’s Center of Danbury, and Habitat for Humanity.