At the 14th annual Wilmington Awards, Oct. 5, Christiana Care’s First State School was honored for its achievements in educating chronically ill students since 1985, and Ann Carney, who volunteers at the Wilmington Hospital, was recognized as this year’s outstanding senior citizen.
These honors were among 15 awards recognizing outstanding accomplishments by Wilmington citizens and programs presented during a ceremony hosted by Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams in the Louis L. Redding City/County Building.
“The First Lady and I are really proud of you,” said Williams in thanking recipients. “Please continue to do the work that you do. It will make us a great city.”
Accepting the First State School award on behalf of Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of Christiana Care, was Elizabeth Houser, MSN, APRN, program director of First State School.
“Our students have serious illnesses, such as severe and persistent asthma and rare genetic disorders,” Houser said. “We do our best in collaboration with the Red Clay School District to provide our young people with a fun and stable environment where they can continue their studies and receive the daily medical treatments they need.”
The First State School, which has been called a model program by the American College of Physicians, is the nation’s first hospital-based public school for chronically ill students, from kindergarten through high school. Founder Janet Kramer, M.D., former director of Adolescent Medicine at Christiana Care, recognized that many chronically ill students were missing academic and social opportunities by not being able to attend school. She began the school in patient rooms at Christiana Hospital. It is now a stand-alone school at the Wilmington Hospital, with its own nursing unit as well as individual classrooms. The school has educated more than 300 students and is a partnership between Christiana Care and the Red Clay Consolidated School District.
Outstanding Senior Citizen Ann Carney
Recognized as this year’s Outstanding Senior Citizen, Ann Carney is a long-standing volunteer who provides companionship to the sick, serves as a Catholic Eucharistic minister, prays with Catholic patients and serves communion. Her son, U.S. Rep. John Carney, was among those on hand to celebrate her award.
“Ann Carney loves volunteering, and she enriches the lives of our patients through her service,” said Margarita Rodriquez-Duffy, MSW, CAVS, director of Visitor and Volunteer Services at Christiana Care. “We are grateful that she is on our team of extraordinary volunteers.”