NEW YORK NURSE: May 2009
by Susan Casadone, RN, President, Congress of Bargaining Unit Leaders
I was at a loss as to what to write for this column and then I realized that I could take this opportunity to express my gratitude to a wonderful woman whom I proudly call my friend.
I am a relatively new face on the scene at leadership meetings in Latham. I remember at first being intimidated by a process and governing structure I was sure I would never understand. When I met Barbara Crane I was immediately impressed by her confidence and stature. She was a resource I could tap into without feeling embarrassed about my own ignorance. I would listen to Barbara speak to issues with knowledge and authority.
How lucky we are to have someone like Barbara Crane to advocate for our profession, our colleagues, and our patients. There are so many words that could be used to describe her. Her warmth and sincerity when she greets you makes you feel welcome. Her passion for nursing and compassion for humanity are demonstrated in every action.
The lives she has touched radiate from her like the ripples in a pool. Nurses in Kentucky, children in a third-world country, and the Filipino nurses who were being prosecuted for standing up for their freedom are only some of those whose lives are better for having been touched by Barbara.
Barbara’s strong leadership of the Delegate Assembly these past two years has carried us through a storm. After the most recent sessions of the Congress and the Delegate Assembly, I believe that we have come through the worst of it. Where others would have crumbled, she held her ground – always respectful and calm, willing to explain her thoughts even to those who chose to dismiss them.
NYSNA has grown to become a truly member-driven organization that recognizes the value of a staff dedicated to working with those members to help them achieve their goals. I believe that because of Barbara’s tireless efforts, we will be able to face the challenges of the future and bring NYSNA to the forefront of healthcare reform.
I thank Barbara’s family for allowing her to share her gift with us. And I thank you, Barbara Crane, for showing me and so many others the way.