UC Davis is set to honor the memory of a Japanese-American nurse who cared for thousands in a World War II internment camp.
Tsuru “Barbara” Yamamoto Takahashi will be honored Thursday evening during the annual welcoming ceremony for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.
Takahashi’s family will be presented with a scroll originally given to her by children when she retired in 1967, according to a news release. A faculty member discovered the scroll when she purchased the Davis house in which Takahashi lived before her death in 1985.
“It was really quite by accident that I learned of Mrs. Takahashi,” said Deborah Ward, associate dean for academics, who found the scroll. “But once I contacted her family and learned her inspiring story, I wanted to share it with our students and faculty. She is an inspiration for future health-care providers to serve as leaders, even in the most unexpected and trying times.”
Takahashi was the only trained health care professional at the internment camp of Topaz, Utah, which had a population of 9,000. She trained more than 50 nurse’s aides.
After the war, Takahashi returned to California. Working in the Berkeley Unified School District, she was the state’s first Japanese-American school nurse.
UCD also plans to honor Susan Hassmiller, a nurse scientist and educator who leads the nationwide Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a 50-state effort to increase access to “high-quality, person-centered care,” according to the release. She will receive the 2012 “Excellence in Leadership” award, which exemplify the nursing school’s values.
The ceremony, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, will end with a welcome to the incoming classes of eight doctoral students and 25 master’s students.