Remembering Trish Seifert

Trish SeifertLast month, AORN and the entire perioperative community lost an exceptional leader with the passing of Patricia Seifert, April 4, 1945 – April 19, 2022.

Over the course of numerous years with our association, Trish held many significant positions and led us to greater and higher levels of achievement in our service to perioperative nurses around the globe.

Trish was a past president of AORN, former editor in chief of AORN Journal, a Trustee on the AORN Foundation Board for which, in 2000, she established the Patricia C. Seifert Endowed Scholarship and she contributed annually as a Foundation Benefactor. Continuing in her commitment to AORN, she most recently served as chair-elect for AORN’s Fellowship Committee.

A mentor for so many, Trish’s commitment to the safe care of surgical patients inspired numerous practice and policy changes in the perioperative setting. Trish was known to her colleagues as a successful risk-taker who was an early pioneer in the RN first-assistant role, introducing innovative staffing and forging new paths for perioperative nurses to bridge clinical and academic pursuits.

Speaking of COVID’s impact on nurses, Trish once remarked, “These aspects of our new normal can lead to new learning skills, growing professionally, and building new collaborations with colleagues if nurses are brave enough to consider new ways of doing things.”

Her pride in the perioperative profession and AORN was profound, and it extended to every perioperative nurse whose path she crossed. She firmly believed perioperative nurses are wired for risk because “it’s what we do every day.”

Even in her passing, Trish’s abiding commitment to AORN was made clear, her obituary read, “In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to either of the Patricia C Seifert endowed scholarship founded 2000 or Barba Edward’s (Patricia's mentor) endowed scholarship founded 2021.”

» Donate to Scholarship Funds

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses will be eternally grateful to Trish for her dedication to our members, our profession, and to the countless patients who will never know her but will continue to benefit from her wisdom and passion for safe patient care.

From Member to Trustee to Benefactor: Meet Joan Spear

Joan Spear“It was an expectation,” explained Joan Spear, MBA, RN, CNOR, CRCST, as she described her early days with AORN.

As a new nurse working in the operating room, her OR leader was active in the association and imparted upon the recent grad the importance of community and continued learning.

With that initial push, Joan has been a member of AORN since 1967, joined the Foundation Board of Trustees in 2012, and established an endowment in 2015.

In 2019, Joan joined 11 others to become a founding member of the Benefactors’ Society and has continued that commitment every year since.

The AORN Foundation established the Benefactors’ Society to recognize the generosity of individuals who donate $2,500 to the Annual Campaign Fund. Participation in the Benefactors’ Society is renewable annually and is based on unrestricted gifts made by a donor.

The Annual Fund is critical to the success of the AORN Foundation in supporting our mission “to empower perioperative nurses in advancing patient and workplace safety through education and research.”

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees are stewards of the Foundation funds. This does not mean they determine who receives grants and scholarships, instead, the board identifies opportunities to create new programs that would benefit nurses and promote safe patient care.

“As life permitted, my ability to support the Foundation grew,” said Joan. She realized over time that she held a deep passion for supporting education, especially education for perioperative nurses. The Foundation’s mission to empower perioperative nurses in advancing patient and workplace safety through education and research continues to resonate for Joan.

With the help of the Benefactors’ Society, individual donors, and corporate support, the Foundation is enabling thousands of nurses to achieve their professional dreams.

Joan’s commitment to AORN and the Foundation spans more than 50 years and her passion for the mission has never flagged. “I want to have nurses around when I require the care, I want to feel they will be there for me. We all have a driving inner voice to guide us in the right direction, it is a part of our being. For me, education is most important.”

Thank you, Joan, and thank you to all the wonderful donors and sponsors who have enabled the AORN Foundation to continue to create an impact on so many nurses by delivering on its mission.

» Discover the many ways you can support the AORN Foundation

» Make a Donation Today 

» Email Anne Kochevar for more information

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