In honor of a major supporter for a quarter of a century, the Northern Neck – Middlesex Free Health Clinic dedicated the Jane Birdsong Patient Care Center on Wednesday, December 4.
“The Clinic is delighted and excited to recognize Jane and Tom Birdsong for all the help, advice, encouragement, and volunteer and funding support given to the Clinic for the past 26 years,” said Jean Nelson, Clinic CEO.
The Patient Care Center was unveiled at a ribbon cutting at the Clinic, followed by a reception at the Golden Eagle for more than 70 friends and supporters of the Birdsongs and the Clinic.
Jane Birdsong was a charter member of the original Clinic Board of Directors when it organized in 1993. A public health nurse at the time – she retired in 1995 after 28 years with the Virginia Department of Health – she also volunteered as a nurse during those early, once-a-week evening clinics that often extended until midnight. As a Public Health Nurse Supervisor for the Northern Neck and Middlesex County, she had helped gain permission for the Clinic to use the Lancaster County Health Department until another facility could be found.
Current Board Chairman G. Scott Graham noted that when he joined as a Director “she was on one of her multiple rotations on the board. Quiet and graceful, she paid very close attention to what was taking place on the board, with a focus on what we are truly about – taking care of our patients.”
In remarks at the reception, Nelson explained how invaluable Jane’s advice and guidance were during those first years. Her new job as Executive Director carried unfamiliar duties and responsibilities with it, along with a working Board of Directors, she said, and Jane made sure she understood that everyone on the board had their own perspectives, that she recognized what they were, that she found her own voice, and that she kept the Clinic mission as her guiding principle.
Jane underscored the importance of knowing the Clinic’s patients and being always aware of their unique challenges and situations, Nelson said.
“Jane’s compassion and support have been unwavering over the years,” she added.
“We are so happy to see Jane’s years of devotion to this community’s public health and to the Clinic recognized,” Graham said. “It’s an honor to have our Patient Care Center bear her name.”
From left are Jane and Tom Birdsong, Clinic CEO Jean Nelson, staff Nurse Practitioner Tamara Hall, Clinic Medical Director Dr. Charles Maresh, and Medical Clinic staff members Wendy Henderson and James Moody.