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Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center School of Nursing Alumnae Enjoy Reunion

Chicago, Ill. — Dec. 3, 2012 – Sisterhood, change and Chicago athletes were among the wide variety of discussion topics at the fourth annual Homecoming Day for alumnae of the former Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center School of Nursing last month.

Nearly 50 graduates of the medical center’s former nursing program gathered from all over the U.S. on Oct. 19, 2012, to share stories of their shared past, see the changes at the medical center and enjoy a laugh or two. And the stories they told of their life at the school 50 years ago were the highlight of the day.

“Every Monday, we’d dress up and run to the units to see what Chicago Bear was here,” said Marie Wilson, Class of 1966. This was, of course, when the Bears were still playing games at Wrigley Field, just up the street from the hospital, she said.

“I also remember we had bikes donated by the doctors—they really treated us well,” Wilson said. “We would ride them up to Wrigley to see the players as they came out of the afternoon games.”

“We had good times here. Some of the best times of our lives,” said Linda Ping, also of the Class of 1966, who went on to work at Advocate Illinois Masonic for 40 years following her graduation. “You can see big changes (here).”

According to Wilson, she still appreciates that students were able to begin caring for patients directly, hands-on, while attending the school, since it was located at the hospital. And the dorm life created a sisterhood for the student nurses.

“Women then needed a career to support themselves,” she said. “We wanted to be self-sufficient.” And, despite the many changes, such as electronic medical records and communication, it is the clinical skills they learned that she said she took with her. “Anywhere you go, you have those basic skills. No one can take that away from me.”

Jean Johnson, a graduate of the Class of 1962, said her favorite part of the Homecoming Day was seeing one another, as well as seeing the many changes to the hospital they once called home.

“This really had a family feel,” she said. “This was such a good event. We all felt very honored.”

About Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is a 408-bed hospital in Chicago with a Level I trauma center and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the highest designations awarded by the state of Illinois. It offers comprehensive inpatient services, including medical, surgical, obstetrics and pediatric care, as well as a full breadth of outpatient services. A recipient of numerous awards for quality and clinical excellence, Illinois Masonic was ranked one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by Thomson Reuters, as well as named a recipient of the organization’s Everest Award for National Benchmarks in 2010. The medical center has also been named a Leader in the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index for the past four years, as well as one of the Chicago region’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for the past two years. In 2012, the hospital achieved Magnet redesignation for excellence and quality in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program, which it originally achieved in 2008. Illinois Masonic is part of Advocate Health Care, a 2009 and 2010 Thomson Reuters Top 10 U.S. health care system for quality and clinical performance and the largest provider of health care services in Illinois. For more on Illinois Masonic, visit

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