Monday, September 9, 2013

Island Nurse: The Heart and Health of Block Island

WSBE Rhode Island PBS is pleased to present Island Nurse, the story of Mary Donnelly, the public health nurse and heart of Block Island, RI, on Sunday, September 22 at 6 p.m., as part of the ongoing Rhode Island PBS series, Rhode Island Stories.

After more than 54 years of nursing, Mary Donnelly - or 'Mary D' as she is fondly called - finally hung up her stethoscope and put away the thermometer and bandages for the last time in May 2013 when she retired from state public health service at age 86.

Mary D raised seven children while also looking after some 1,000 year-round Block Island residents, sometimes as the sole health provider on the island. Mary D is the guardian angel of the Mary D. Fund, a charitable foundation to help her Block Island neighbors in their seasonal need. Her story demonstrates her rare brand of stamina, courage, and compassion.
“Mary D. represents the best of nursing and the best of humanity,” said director and producer, Sue Hagedorn, also a nurse and part-time Islander.

Island Nurse, a documentary profile of Mary D by filmmaker Susan Hagedorn and Seedworks Films, includes some of Block Island's history and residents' personal stories of resilience and survival on Block Island.

After its September 22 premiere at 6 p.m., Island Nurse will encore on September 28 at 11 p.m. on WSBE Rhode Island PBS, and on WSBE Learn on September 25 at 10 p.m., September 26 at 5 a.m. and September 27 at 2 a.m.

Island Nurse (trailer)
WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) programming over the air on digital 36.1; on Rhode Island cable services: Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable services: Comcast 819HD, Verizon 18 / 518HD; on satellite: DirecTV 36 / 3128HD, Dish Network 7776.

WSBE Learn transmits over the air on digital 36.2; on cable: Cox 808, Verizon 478, Full Channel 89, Comcast 294 or 312.

*update* September 23: The Block Island Times picked up the story.