About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center


2010 Press Releases

August 4, 2010
Contact: Kathleen Mathieu, 201-939-1844 (office), 201-694-0384 (cell) or kmathieu@trwg.com

For Immediate Release

Plans for “Garden Party” Set

Scholarship Winners
Nichelle Weems of Beacon, NY, and Chikara Iwuagwu of Englewood, NJ, seniors in the Joint Bachelor of Science Ramapo-Englewood Hospital nursing program, have been chosen as this year’s scholarship recipients by the Friends of W.F. Willoughby of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.
L to r: Nichelle Weems and Chikara Iwuagwu

Nichelle Weems of Beacon, NY, and Chikara Iwuagwu of Englewood, NJ, both seniors in the Joint Bachelor of Science Ramapo-Englewood Hospital Nursing Program, have been chosen as this year’s scholarship recipients by the Friends of W.F. Willoughby of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

The students will be feted at the 57th Annual Garden Party of the Friends on Sunday, September 26 at 4PM at the Medical Center.

For close to six decades, the group has been dedicated to upholding the memory and legacy of Dr. Willoughby, a physician remembered for his skill, generosity and commitment to humanitarian care. Dr. Willoughby was the first African American physician at Englewood Hospital, and in this tradition, the members have raised money for African American and African students in the healthcare professions since 1986.

“Imagine how many people a nurse helps in the course of his or her career,” said Friends President Jeanne Hopewell of Englewood. “We’re very proud of these students, and gratified that we are able to help them become nurses.”

Chikara, whose parents, Joy and Edmund Iwuagwu, emigrated to the United States from Nigeria, was raised in Englewood with her three brothers and two sisters, and graduated from the Academies@Englewood. Chikara, whose mom is a registered nurse, became interested in nursing when she saw the role of nurses in her pediatrician’s office. She hopes to be a nurse practitioner, possibly working with women. “I was completely taken by the first delivery I witnessed when I began working in Labor and Delivery,” she said. “I’m very much a hands-on student.” She also plans to work in Nigeria someday, making a contribution as a nurse where good healthcare is often hard to come by. “My grandfather made me promise I would never forget my roots,” she explained.

This busy student is president of Ramapo College’s Organization of African Unity, which educates students on issues regarding the African diaspora, vice president of Chi Alpha Epsilon XAE, an honor society for Equal Opportunity Fund students, and was recently inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society that recognizes student leaders in the top 33 percentile at Ramapo College.

Nichelle became interested in nursing when she volunteered as an HIV/AIDS peer educator in high school back home in Beacon, where she was raised with her younger brother. “I’ve always enjoyed helping people,” she said, “and after that experience, I knew I wanted to do something with health.” She is the first nurse in her family. Her proud parents are Tanya Horton and Lorne Weems, and it was her dad who told her about the nursing program at Ramapo College, where he is the director of the Educational Opportunity Fund.

Studying to be a nurse has been a terrific experience for Nichelle, who is now very much committed to succeeding. At one point, she needed time off to refocus and firm up her goals. “School is tough,” she said. “There are no breaks, but it grows on you. My schoolwork is my priority, with very little time for social life.” She does fit in a job as a live-in caretaker for an elderly gentleman, a position she says, “has helped me more than it has helped him.” She also works on weekends as a direct support professional for individuals with disabilities.

The two young women have been very impressed with the education they are receiving as students in the challenging joint nursing program, and are proud to be selected for scholarships by the Friends.

They also are very pleased to be able to relieve their parents of some of the financial burden of college expenses. “When I was told about the scholarship, I cried,” said Chikara, whose family is still feeling the effects of having a tree fall on their home during March’s terrible rainstorm, rendering the house temporarily uninhabitable. “I am very glad this will take some financial pressure off my dad,” said Nichelle. “I’m also very happy that I put myself in a position to qualify for a scholarship. I am no longer content to just get by.”

At a Glance
57th Annual Friends of Dr. W.F. Willoughby Garden Party

Sunday, September 26, 2010
The Garden Party, which will raise scholarship money for two nursing students from Englewood Hospital, will be held in the Helen and Michael Chiang Auditorium at the Medical Center at 4PM. Guests will enjoy a concert by legendary tenor saxophonist Houston Person and the Houston Person Quartet.
For more information about the Garden Party and to reserve a seat, call 201-567-3961. Advance reservations are recommended. Sponsors who wish their names in the program should mail in their checks before September 8. The mailing address for reservations and donations is: 57th Annual Garden Party, Friends of Dr. W.F. Willoughby, 335 Shepard Avenue, Englewood, NJ 07631. The cost per person is $50 (Sponsor), $45 (Patron), $35 (Friend), $20 (Performance Only), and $5 (Student). Checks should be made payable to Friends of Dr. W.F. Willoughby.
The Helen and Michael Chiang Auditorium is located at the north end of the campus of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, 350 Engle St, Englewood, NJ. Complimentary parking will be available in the employee garage at the north end of the campus.

About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provides patients with the highest level of compassionate care through a broad range of state-of-the-art clinical programs and the most advanced treatments and diagnostic services. It is renowned for its bloodless medicine and surgery program, cardiac and vascular programs and its leadership in breast care, oncology and joint replacement services. Through its affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Consortium for Graduate Medical Education, this thriving, acute-care and community teaching hospital trains medical residents in a variety of disciplines, including internal medicine, critical care medicine, surgery, pediatrics, podiatry, and pathology.  Englewood Hospital is home to a Vascular Fellowship Program that has trained a generation of world-class vascular surgeons.  Additionally, many members of the medical staff at Englewood Hospital serve as faculty members at Mount Sinai. Englewood Hospital has earned numerous accreditations from the Joint Commission and other organizations and is among the six percent of hospitals nationwide honored with the prestigious Magnet nursing award, a distinction that has been earned twice by its nursing staff.