February 15th 2011 - |
Life is best when it is lived with enthusiasm as well as compassion. Michael Walczak, a 63-year-old loving father of two and successful businessman, had this mantra down pat. When he succumbed to stomach cancer in December of 2009, there was never a question in his family’s minds that his legacy wouldn’t continue; it was just deciding what form.
“My father was a very giving person,” said Tara Daege, Walczak’s daughter and operations director at Riverview. “He left behind the gifts of love, giving and compassion to all who had known him and we wanted to continue his legacy by creating a tribute to him.”
Besides instilling kindheartedness in his children, he also shared with them his passion for education. “It was never a question of whether or not I would go to college, it was just which one,” explained Daege of her childhood. So, it felt like a natural fit for Daege and her family - mother Cecelia and sister, Tracie – when they decided to create a fund in his memory at Riverview Hospital that would cultivate excellence and continuing education for nurses.
“Nursing excellence is a passion for me and I know fantastic nurses took care of Dad while his was ill, so we are paying it forward by creating this fund that grants nurses funding for professional development. Dad changed a lot of lives and we want to carry on that legacy by continuing to change lives.”
The Riverview Nursing Council, as well as a family member of Walczak, will determine the recipient(s) of the annual nursing education fund. Nurses employed by Riverview Hospital and Riverview Surgical Management Associates are eligible for the fund.
The funds can be used for items, such as:
- Any professional development
Donations can be made to the Riverview Hospital Foundation with a designation for the nursing education fund. To donate, contact the Riverview Hospital Foundation at (317) 770-2962.