A Frontier Nursing University (FNU) alumna and midwifery legacy celebrated her retirement with purpose this month. Nadene Brunk Eads, CNM, was honored on Saturday, January 20, with a party and special fundraiser for Midwives For Haiti, the organization she founded and has poured herself into for the last decade.
When Nadene graduated from Frontier as a nurse-midwife, a mission trip to Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas, changed the course of her life. She was struck by the statistics she witnessed firsthand: Haitian women die during childbirth at a rate 12 times that of women in the United States, and a severe lack of resources and skilled care for birthing mothers made Haiti one of the most dangerous countries for childbirth in the world.
Moved by a desire to provide a long-term solution, Nadene rounded up a team of volunteers and began to train Haitian nurses to be skilled birth attendants. The nonprofit organization Midwives For Haiti was born in 2006, with Nadene at the helm as executive director. In 12 years, Nadene founded a school, saw hundreds of American medical professionals and nurse-midwives volunteer time and knowledge, and made it possible for dozens of Haitian nurses to receive invaluable instruction in order to help mothers from pregnancy through postpartum recovery.
While Midwives For Haiti and the Nadene Brunk Eads School are continuing to grow, Nadene will be passing the torch to Jessica Jordan to enjoy retirement.
To celebrate Nadene’s distinguished legacy, a dinner party and fundraiser was held by Midwives For Haiti. The guest count totaled over 100, including several FNU students and alumni. One very important alumna and Mary Breckinridge Chair, Kitty Ernst, was the keynote speaker for the evening and spoke on the importance of having vision.
Dinner was followed by live entertainment, award presentations, photo slideshow, shared stories, toasts, cake and the unveiling of a very special Haitian painting given as a gift to Nadene. Guests were also able to write special memories and messages on cards for Nadene to cherish for years to come.
With a legacy of improving maternal health and birth outcomes in Haiti for many years, Frontier is proud to call Nadene Brunk Eads one of our own!
From the Legacy Celebration Dinner: