Tributes Articles

Jake Pickle’s greatest gift to all of us

Austin American-Statesman, June 25, 2005

One of my fondest childhood memories was of Congressman J.J. “Jake” Pickle lighting up the First Methodist Church downtown when he’d enter, bigger than life, wearing a top hat and passing around those tiny, goofy green plastic pickles. All the kids loved Jake because he made us laugh and paid attention to us. As we […]


“I Promised Myself That It Would Happen” What happens when a will the size of Texas faces off with the great state itself.

American Journal of Nursing [Vol. 102, No. 10, pp. 106-7], October 1, 2002

It would be difficult to say where Sister Angela Murdaugh, MSN, RN, CNM, FACNM, has made a more profound difference: advancing the profession of nurse midwives through years of advocacy or improving the health and well-being of thousands of the nation’s poorest women and their children who have benefited from the Holy Family Birth Center […]


5 Minutes with Nancy McDonald: On serving in the Texas legislature

NurseWeek, March 18, 2002

How did you become involved in politics?

Part of our professional code of ethics tells us that we’ll strive to “improve standards of nursing practice and promote … efforts to meet health needs of the public.” I’ve always taken that aspect of the code very seriously.

During the 12 years that I was a hospital staff and head nurse, I was also involved in local politics. During that time, an influx of foreign nurses pointed to the need for a clearer definition of nursing responsibilities in the Nursing Practice Act. After joining the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Texas Nurses Association, we set to work to rewrite parts of the act and then to lobby the Legislature for its passage.


Nancy McDonald: Icon of Texas Nursing

Texas Nursing [Vol. 84, No. 10, pp. 3-7], December 1, 2001

[This article was also published in the March 18, 2002 NurseWeek, p. 10-11.] About a year ago, I worked in the same NICU bay at Seton Medical Center in Austin with a nurse new to our staff, Elizabeth McDonald. She’s quite distinctive — tall with very long hair, poised, cool, funny and ardently self-assured. She […]


Legacies: Venola Schmidt, 1919-2001

The Good Life [p. 16], August 1, 2001

A eulogy delivered by Toni Inglis at Venola Schmidt’s memorial service on June 23, 2001, at First Unitarian Church. The Tuesday after Venola died, former Gov. Ann Richards read the article in the Austin-American Statesman written by reporter Leah Quin. She called me from Washington, DC, and thankfully I had the presence of mind to […]


Impeachment? Nation could use Barbara Jordan’s wisdom

The Dallas Morning News, October 4, 1998

[This commentary was also published in the Austin American-Statesman, the Atlanta Journal & Constitution and the Houston Chronicle.] Barbara Jordan’s candle burned out in January of 1996. It was too early; she was not finished. Her ghost haunts me constantly these days. In the spring of 1992, I took a graduate seminar from the former […]


Thank you, Dr. Kay

Journal of Perinatology [Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 56-7], January 1, 1994

When I was a girl, I dreamed of becoming a nurse and working with Dr. Albert Schweitzer to relieve human suffering and sickness in the clinic he founded in the jungles of Lambaréné, French Equatorial Africa. I did become a nurse, but I never got to work with Dr. Schweitzer. I did, however, get to […]