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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Donated books to benefit nursing schools in Rwanda

Books donated by Connell School faculty and students were brought to Rwanda this month by Team Heart, a volunteer group based out of Brigham and Women's Hospital that performs cardiac surgeries for rheumatic heart disease.

Books donated by Connell School faculty and students were brought to Rwanda this month by Team Heart, a volunteer group based out of Brigham and Women's Hospital that performs cardiac surgeries for rheumatic heart disease.

Suellen Breakey PhD '06, cardiac surgery nurse coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, delivered five boxes of books to members of the Council of Nursing who are part of the Ministry of Health in Rwanda. In their positions, they will be able to distribute the books to the five nursing schools in the country.

"As with any mission of this kind there are bittersweet moments," says Breakey, "but I must say I didn't think I would be touched with so much emotion from delivering these books. The nurses were so appreciative and excited, and went through the boxes as if they were presents under a Christmas tree. They insisted on displaying some of the books for a photo."

The nurses told Breakey that this is only their second donation of books -- the first was in the mid 1990s. She plans to bring more next spring.

Breakey is pictured second from left with the chief nursing officer for the Ministry of Health; a nurse with the World Health Assembly who also works with Rwandan nurses; and another member of the Council of Nursing.