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Posted: May 06, 2008
With deep sadness, we share the news of the passing of Dr. Donna L. Wong, 1948-2008.
One night in 1970, first-year nurse Donna Wong kept watch with a grieving mother at the bed of her dying child. The young nurse could do little then to ease the physical pain of the little girl, a cancer patient, or the heartache of the mother. But the bedside vigil was the catalyst for a nursing career that has pioneered new and effective health-care techniques in pediatrics and pain management.
Dr. Donna Wong is internationally renowned for her textbooks on pediatric nursing, Nursing Care of Infants and Children, Clinical Handbook of Pediatric Nursing and Essentials of Pediatric Nursing, all mainstays in nursing education. She served as an instructor, researcher, mentor and consultant in the areas of nursing education, patient care and pain management.
The impact of her research extends well beyond the profession of nursing. The Wong-Baker FACES pain scale - perhaps her most well-known contribution to international health care -reflects her compassion and concern, as well as her innovative approach, in health-care research. This chart of six faces with expressions ranging from happiness to severe pain is a fixture of health clinics around the world, familiar to even the youngest children and their parents.
The University of Oklahoma, where Dr. Wong was an adjunct faculty member in the College of Nursing and in the College of Medicine-Tulsa, raised $250,000 in private funds to establish the Donna L. Wong Professorship of Pediatric Nursing Research in honor of her outstanding career and contributions to nursing. Thanks to generous donors, the College of Nursing reached its goal of $250,000 in 2007. It is important to note that gifts to the Wong Professorship will be maximized through the Oklahoma State Regents Endowment Program, which provides matching funds for endowed faculty positions.
Though Dr. Wong has been honored many times for her work, an endowed professorship in pediatric nursing is an enduring and especially fitting tribute to her. The professorship expands the College of Nursing's instructional and research expertise in a critical area of nurse training, ultimately preparing better and more nurses who will follow Dr. Wong's example of pursuing excellence in pediatric nursing research and improving outcomes for children and their families.
Dr. Wong says: "My work is finite, but this endowment offers immortality. Through other gifted and dedicated nurses my efforts to improve the quality of health care for children and their families will continue."
To support this professorship, please mail checks made out to "OU Foundation," c/o Lindsey Manning, The University of Oklahoma, Alumni and Development Office, PO Box 26901, 162 Library, Oklahoma City, OK 73126-9968. Make sure to include a note designating the gift for the Donna L. Wong Professorship. Gifts also can be made on-line, using the OU Foundation's secure online giving page. Please visit http://www.oufoundation.org and click on "make a gift" to begin. In the gift section of the online giving form, make sure to choose nursing from their drop-down menu and type Donna L. Wong Professorship in the "other gift restrictions" field.
Thank you for standing with the nursing community to celebrate Donna Wong's great achievements!