Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Germanna mourns the passing of Dean Mary Gilkey

Germanna Community College Dean of Nursing and Health Technologies Mary Gilkey passed away Tuesday, June 25 at VCU Medical Center in Richmond of apparent heart failure. She had been battling an autoimmune disorder for some time. She was 55.

“With the passing of Dean Gilkey, Germanna has lost a leader whose boundless energy and enthusiasm helped the college double the size of its nursing program and graduate two classes a year,” said GCC President David A. Sam. “Our communities have lost a champion for quality health care for all their citizens.

  “Dean Gilkey worked diligently with area hospitals to anticipate and meet health care needs,” Dr. Sam said.
 “She loved her students and the College dearly.  The students she inspired will be her legacy. She will be missed.”
 Dr. Sam said the College’s deepest sympathy goes out to Dean Gilkey’s husband Charles and their three daughters, Claire, Caroline and Chelsea.

When Dean Gilkey, who came to Germanna in 2009, was 15, she began training as an aide in a nursing home. She said she was appalled by the inhumane "warehouse" approach in dealing with the elderly there. She decided to devote her life to improving care for patients.
 “It gave me a passion to take care of people,” she said.  “I’ve never stopped learning. And I’ve never stopped having that passion in my belly.”

Kim Casey, a 2013 Germanna nursing graduate, talked about Dean Gilkey coming to an awards ceremony in May despite being ill. "I went over and hugged her and told her daughter Chelsea how much it meant to us," Casey said, her voice filled with emotion.
In addition to working in hospitals and as a health insurance company in her native Hampton Roads area, she had a private practice as a psychotherapist.

Dean Gilkey had said her dream was to expand Germanna’s nursing and health technologies facilities at the College’s Locust Grove Campus.
 Dr. Patti Lisk is serving as Germanna’s Acting Dean of Nursing and Health Care Technologies.

Friday, June 28 7:30 p.m. Visitation 
Holloman-Brown Funeral Chapel
6568 Indian River Road
Virginia Beach, Va.

Saturday, June 29 11 a.m. Funeral Mass
Saint Matthew's Catholic Church
3314 Sandra Lane
Virginia Beach, Va. (this is just a few blocks from Holloman-Brown)

Interment following the Mass
Woodlawn Memorial Gardens
6309 E. Virginia Beach Blvd
Norfolk, Va,


Tara Summers said...

I used to work for a restaurant/catering company. I was catering a facility at the Daniel Center when I first met Dean Gilkey. She praised me- telling me that when she was a teenager she worked for a caterer for a summer, and that it was terribly difficult- that she was impressed that I could do it- this incredibly powerful woman with a long string of credentials after her name was impressed with me setting up sandwiches!! I confided that I wanted to return to school to pursue a career in nursing. Her entire face lit up- she literally gushed about Germanna and all the opportunities and the potential job opportunities and how wonderful it all is... She gave me her business card and told me that if I needed anything, she would be willing to help. She was so encouraging and her enthusiasm was so contagious. I am beginning my second year in the ADN program, in large part because she gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
I did not know Dean Gilkey personally, but I will truly miss her, and will never forget the impact she had on my life in that brief conversation.

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