Bernard Daly’s will is best remembered for the bequest that created the Daly scholarship. Although not as large, there were other bequests, including one that provided an annuity of $1,200 each year for ten years for the …“… expenses of sick, maimed, or injured patients, residents of Lake County, Oregon, who may be brought to its hospital, and who are unable to bear such expenses; it being my will and desire that they receive the same careful nursing, medical and surgical attention, and the full benefits of such hospital, as other patients in so far as this bequest may allow.”

About the time the support provided by Daly’s bequest ended, the Daly scholarship began to have even greater impact on the Lakeview hospital. Daly scholarship recipients, Connie and Joycelin Robertson, and their younger brother, Louis, all became doctors and returned to Lakeview to practice at the hospital. Over the years, many other Daly recipients have returned to work at the hospital, including Abby (Tracy) Finetti, a 2000 Lakeview High graduate and Daly recipient who began working as an emergency nurse at the Lake District Hospital in 2007.

Abby is a high achiever; she is one of only 13 emergency nurses in Oregon who has three specialty certifications (emergency nurse, pediatric emergency nurse, and trauma nurse certifications). Abby has a lot of letters after her name (BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN), and she’s earned them all. Specialty certification is not required, and it takes a lot of studying. Abby told me she studied for eight months for her first specialty certification exam, and then took a two-day review course in Reno before taking and passing the exam. Abby isn’t the only nurse at Lake District Hospital with a lot of letters after her name; more than half of Lake District Hospital nurses have at least one nursing specialty certification.

That’s a very good thing for the larger Lake County community as it’s considered a “frontier medicine area” – an area with less than six people per square mile. With less than a person per square mile, Lake County is especially frontier. The more rural and remote, the greater the dangers associated with health incidents. Lack of specialized surgical equipment and expertise, and the time pressure associated with great distances all pose challenges. As Abby told me, “If you’re in a car wreck and already an hour away from our hospital, the deck is stacked against you – we need to be on the top of our game.”

When she was interviewed by the Board for the Certification of Emergency Nursing, Abby credited the Daly scholarship as contributing to her drive for achievement (I think she had quite a bit to begin with). She told me that as a pre-nursing student at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), she would meet with the Daly Fund advisor who checked to be sure that she maintained a full load and the required GPA, then gave her the check for that year. Abby isn’t the only Lake District Hospital nurse who was a Daly scholarship recipient. Mesa (Partin) Greenfield (RN WOCN) is a 1994 scholarship recipient. It seems that high expectations and accountability came with the scholarship.

If you walk in the main entrance to the Lake District Hospital in Lakeview and turn right, you’ll see a row of photographs of each doctor who practiced at the hospital since Bernard Daly. If you turn to the left, you’ll see a row of photographs of all the nurses that have received specialty certifications. Above and beyond.

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