Block Island Nurse Mary Donnelly Honored by the State

May 6, 2013

In commemoration of National Nurses Week a celebration was held today at the State House in honor of Block Island nurse, Mary Donnelly.

Credit John Bender / RIPR

Donnelly retired from her position as a state nurse on the island after more than 55 years of work.  She recalled the beginning of her career, when there was no doctor on the island.

“Best time of my life was when there was no doctor.  Do you know?  Because you had to use your head, use whatever you could to help a person.  And that was innovation I’ll tell you, to work that way.”

In addition to being a nurse, Donnelly has gained national recognition for her charity, “The Mary D. Fund,” which helps Block Island residents in need of financial assistance.

And despite retirement, Donnelly is staying quite active on Block Island.

“I go to my office every day, and I do the Mary D Fund, and I go out on house calls, and I just finished working with hospice nurses.”

In keeping with her busy schedule Donnelly is now preparing for the Mary D. Ball, a fundraiser for her charity.