(Pat) Girard’s love for people and caring nature
drew her to a career in nursing in the early 1950s.
When Pat was studying to become a nurse, she
was doing her clinical training at Barnes Hospital
while she attended Washington University School
of Nursing. One day, she walked off the elevator
and laid eyes on James (Jim) Pape, a seminary
student, and it was love at first sight. Pat and Jim
went on to marry and have four children, Debbie,
Sue, Jay, and Rick.
Throughout her career, Pat was a hard worker and enjoyed
learning the science behind everything, but her favorite
part of being a nurse was being able to listen to patients’
stories. She believed that everyone had a story and every
After Pat and Jim passed, their children wanted to do
something to honor their memory. Debbie Fraser, Pat and
Jim’s oldest daughter, reached out to The Foundation
for Barnes-Jewish Hospital to discuss the best way to
remember her parents’ legacy. When she heard about
students who were struggling to attend school
due to unexpected life events, she knew that was exactly
how her parents would want to help.
In memory of her parents, Debbie and her siblings created
the Goldfarb School of Nursing Emergency Compassion
Fund to assist students who face unexpected situations
that affect their ability to complete their
education. This fund not only helps
students in need, but honors Jim
and Pat’s heart for helping others.
Support When Crisis Hits
Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish
College is filled with incredible, passionate
students that inspire the world around them.
Becoming a nurse is no easy feat. Between
demanding academic schedules and intensive
subject matter, Goldfarb students are hardworking
and committed to their goals—
providing leading-edge compassionate care
to patients and their families.
But, life can be unpredictable, and sometimes Goldfarb
students face devastating emergency situations that
have the potential of disrupting their education. Michael
Ward, vice dean for student a_airs and diversity, sees
firsthand the toll these events can take on students.
“The Emergency Compassion Fund exists to provide
financial assistance to nursing students who encounter
emergencies or crisis situations that impact their ability
to complete their education,” Dr. Ward says. “That’s
why the Emergency Compassion Fund is critical to
One student in particular, Mariah, knows exactly
how vital the Emergency Compassion Fund can be.
Mariah and her family have dealt with many events
that no one plans for. She lost her home to a fire
and dealt with multiple unexpected family deaths,
all while pursuing her nursing education.
However, nothing compares to the phone call that Mariah
received one November day. “I never expected to hear that
my sweet, nine-year-old stepson had been shot in the chest
during a hunting accident,” she says. “My whole world was
shook. Such an emotional and financial burden on our
young family was too much to bear alone.”
Thankfully, the Emergency Compassion Fund was there
to help Mariah and her family pay the medical expenses,
so she could continue her schooling without the additional
financial stress of emergency medical bills. Now, her stepson
is expected to make a complete recovery, and Mariah
shares that life after nursing school is very promising.
“ Your generosity altered our
path in a positive direction,” she
says. “When we were in need, you
extended financial support and
for that I will always be thankful.”
Mariah, now employed as a sta. nurse on a medical-surgical
unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, is using her experience
to better care for patients with heart wrenching stories
of their own.
“I didn’t realize that the things that would ultimately prepare
me to care for my patients would never make it onto my
résumé,” she says. “Things like love and loss, having the
world turned upside down but putting your scrubs on
anyway, and witnessing the warmth of human care and
compassion that comes from generous donors like you.”