American Red Cross Chief Nurse Nancy McKelvey served as Grand Marshal for the 2007 Washington, D.C. Saint Patrick's Day Parade. McKelvey was honored for a life in service to others.
Raised in Philadelphia, McKelvey, one of three daughters in a family heavily involved in their community, knows the value of volunteerism. “Often, families or community groups work together and get to know their neighbors in ways they wouldn't otherwise,” she says. “They find ways of looking out for one another.” In recognition of this community spirit, the theme of this year's parade was “Volunteers Weave Communities Together.”
Chief Nurse McKelvey welcomes other Red Cross leaders to the parade. From left to right (Carol Grant, VP, Chapter Quality Assurance; Jane Gilbert, Service Area SVP; McKelvey; Chuck Connor, SVP, Communication and Marketing).”
(Photo Credit: Bob Halter)
McKelvey dreamed of being a nurse for as long as she can remember. And that's just what she became—attending Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, from which she was recently awarded a distinguished alumnae award, and the Catholic University of America where she earned a Masters.
McKelvey's job as American Red Cross Chief Nurse is unique. In addition to supporting nurse involvement within the organization, she represents Red Cross nursing with external organizations, maintaining partnerships that enhance the Red Cross' ability to help communities. She is currently chair of the Federal Nursing Service Council, founded after World War II to foster further collaboration among organizations which had worked together during the war, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Public Health Service and Department of Veteran Affairs.
McKelvey has worked for the American Red Cross for nearly 20 years. She is one of more than 30,000 nurses who support the Red Cross as salaried and volunteer staff, serving during local and national disasters; volunteering in military hospitals; teaching and developing courses in CPR/First Aid and Family Caregiving; working as managers; and providing leadership on local boards and the national Board of Governors.
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.