Local nurse selected as ambassador

By Celena Cordova: PNT staff writer

Roosevelt General Hospital nurse Mary Russell was chosen as a delegate to attend a People to People Citizen Ambassador Program in China.

Russell, a registered nurse and certified emergency nurse, has been working at RGH for nearly 27 years.

“I find this an honor to be offered this kind of experience (to attend the ambassador program),” Russell said.

Russell is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association, and was selected through the organization to attend the ambassador program.

Russell and other chosen delegates from the U.S. will be in China this month to attend conferences to learn about Chinese medicine and medical procedures.

“The first day that we are there, we’ll be talking to one of the premier doctors in Beijing about emergency medicine,” she said.

Conference topics include pre-hospital medicine, emergency nursing and disaster preparation. The emergency nursing topic will be geared toward the comparison of Chinese training and American training.

Russell also said she looks forward to getting the opportunity to meet and talk with the Chinese nurses.

“I will be able to bring back how (the Chinese) approach trauma and emergencies, and how they are prepared for disasters and pandemic episodes,” she said.

Russell said the Chinese commonly use homeopathic methods, which are rarely used in U.S. hospitals.

“It will be interesting to see how (the Chinese) incorporate (homeopathic type medicines).”

The delegates will also be given two days to tour China.

“I’m hoping to see the Great Wall,” Russell said.

The People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs were created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, according to the organization’s Web site.

Gayle Richerson, director of patient care at the RGH, said, “Mary is not only an advocate for patients, she is a proactive advocate for nurses and the nursing profession as a whole.”

Richerson said Russell assisted Melissa Tokarski, emergency room director, in working to get the Level 4 Trauma Center designation for the hospital.