SAYRE, Pa. (WETM) — Looking through old family photos can be a good chance to learn about your family’s history, for one Waverly woman, that search led her to discover a piece of local history with a connection to the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
While going through some of her grandmother’s old items, 78-year-old Margaret Prinzi had come across an envelope inside the collection of pictures and other family items.
Inside the envelope was a small piece of paper with neatly written cursive, and fittingly titled, ‘The Nurse’, and nothing more. The paper contained seven stanzas that told about nurses and the journey they go on in order to fill an important role in society. At the bottom, it was signed with the name Hattie Burdick, Robert Packer Hospital, Dec 10, 1939.
Prinzi wasn’t sure who Hattie was or why the note was in with her grandmother’s old items. Her best guess was that her grandmother and Hattie were friends since Prinzi’s grandmother had connections with the hospital during her life.
Inside the Guthrie Archives at the Robert Packer Hospital on Friday, as National Nurses Week comes to a close, the poem was graciously donated to the hospital by Prinzi and was given directly to two nurses. The poem was read aloud and was able to be examined for everyone in the room to see.
“It’s a perfect ending to Nurses Week, it really is,” said Mikayla Hartwell the nurse accepting the poem, “it kind of wraps up the reason why we celebrate and the reason why we have nurses to care for our patients,” she said, “and I think that, that poem really embodies nursing as a whole,” she said when asked about how fitting it was that a poem about nurses is donated during National Nurses Week.
When interviewed, Prinzi had mentioned the importance of history, specifically local history, “There’s a lot of history in this valley…that I didn’t even know about,” she said and went on to say that she wished local history was taught in schools in order to be preserved and passed on.
As for the poem, the workers inside the Guthrie Archives plan to figure out who Hattie Burdick was and to learn more about her. The poem will be added to the collections of thousands of other artifacts that have been found/donated to the hospital.