Ladies Board Honored for Dedication to Nursing

The long service and dedication of the Inova Loudoun Ladies Board was celebrated Tuesday morning with the installation of a commemorative plaque at the Inova Loudoun Medical Campus in Leesburg.

The nursing station at the Leesburg emergency room was renamed The Ladies Board Nursing Station. The action seeks to recognize the organization’s decades of support for nurses through its nursing scholarships program.

The first line of the dedication plaque reads: “Named in grateful appreciation for the Ladies Board of Inova Loudoun Hospital, who have been the heart and soul of this hospital since 1912.”

Dr. Edward Puccio, Inova Loudoun’s Emergency Department medical director and chairman, said the entire emergency department was “delighted to have the [department’s] core nerve center named for the Ladies Board.”

The Ladies Board was formed almost simultaneously with the creation of Loudoun’s first hospital in rented space on West Market Street in 1912. It has been raising money to support the hospital ever since. Among the recent examples of the board’s financial support was a gift of $1 million toward the renovation at the Leesburg campus, completed three years ago.

Inova Loudoun CEO H. Patrick Walters and Leesburg Campus Nurse Manager Eileen Bowie also spoke before a crowd of about 40 members of the Ladies Board.

From those early days, when the Ladies Board members supplied sheets, blankets, china, silver for the hospital and grew vegetables behind the building for the patients’ meals, the support has been consistent. The Ladies Board contributes about a quarter of a million dollars each year to support the hospital and its nurses, according to past Ladies Board President Kay Stowers. Money is raised through the annual hospital rummage sale, its gift shop and thrift shop operations and other programs.

Walters said the Ladies Board had been instrumental in planning for the future after the hospital board of directors came close to selling the Leesburg campus in the early 2000s.

“They helped us formulate a plan for the future ER, and they have continued to make a big impact,” Walters said, noting the Leesburg ER consistently is rated in the top 1 percent of ER patient satisfaction.

Puccio told board members that their reputation extends far beyond Loudoun’s borders. “Your predecessors would be proud of your legacy,” he said, adding that as the department looks for the future, “We are continuously inspired by your dedication and generosity to the ER.”

He drew laughs when he said that April Brown, director of Inova’s emergency departments, and Eileen Bowie, manager of the Leesburg

ER, take great pride in showing off the Leesburg facility—“almost like showing photos of your kids and grandparents,” he joked.

The plaque reads:

“Named in grateful appreciation for the Ladies Board of Inova Loudoun Hospital, who have been the heart and soul of this hospital since 1912.

Their generosity was instrumental in making the renovation of the Cornwall campus as reality and their commitment to our nurses is an inspiration to us all.

We could not serve our community without their unfaltering dedication.”