Long-time nurses honored at retirement events

Two members of the nursing staff at Brooks Memorial Hospital recently celebrated their retirement from full-time service at the Dunkirk facility. Officials from Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York announce the retirement of Francine Davis, LPN, a 45-year employee, and Carolyn Fafinski, RN, BSN, CNN, a 35-year employee.

A Forestville native, Davis completed a licensed practical nursing program through a local federally funded training course and has served her entire nursing career at Brooks Memorial Hospital.

She said that her interest in the profession grew, in part, because of an aunt who provided home care nursing. Serving most recently in the Dialysis unit, Davis’ career has spanned from inpatient units to 18 years on the 3 to 11 p.m. shift in the former Pediatrics Unit before moving to the day shift to provide nursing care to patients in a 2nd floor step down unit from ICU. She began her term in the Dialysis unit in 1996.

“You really get close to some of those families,” Davis said. “They’re very thankful that this unit is here.”

Davis has a son and brother in Forestville, a brother in Las Vegas, Nev., and a sister in Bastrop, Texas.

Her future plans include per diem work at Brooks Memorial Hospital, volunteer work and spending time with her family. A reception was held in honor of Davis’ retirement at the hospital on Jan. 4.

Fafinski, who serves as nurse manager of the Dialysis Department, has lived most of her life in the Dunkirk area.

She graduated at the top of her class in 1974 in the Registered Nursing program at Buffalo General Hospital’s School of Nursing (affiliated with the University of Buffalo).

Fafinski received her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine in 1993, has a certification in Nephrology Nursing and has been an Advanced Cardiac Life Support instructor for over 25 years. Her nursing career began in the cardiac care unit at St. Vincent’s in Erie prior to relocation to Dunkirk.

Joining the Brooks Memorial Hospital family in 1975, Fafinski’s roles included Emergency Department nursing and ICU nursing prior to a promotion as Vice President of Nursing for 13 years. She assumed her most recent role when the Dialysis unit opened on July 26, 1996.

“We’re a close-knit family, we always have been. I’ve always been proud of Brooks,” she said. “I think they provide great care.”

Fafinski lives with her husband James and has a daughter, Kelly Mancuso, RN, BSN, Director of Surgical Services at Brooks Memorial Hospital.

“Going through nursing school she was a great asset and always wanted me to go further on in my career…she always gave me the confidence to try new things,” Mancuso said of her mother.

Fafinski’s mother, Frances Cole, served for many years in nursing in Surgical Services and the hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery unit prior to her retirement.

“At one point, we had three generations here,” Fafinski noted.

In retirement, she says she hopes to spend time with her mother, her two granddaughters, pursue hobbies including gardening and sewing, and travel. A retirement party is being planned by her family at The White Inn in Fredonia.

Brooks Memorial Hospital, an affiliate of LERHSNY, is a full service facility offering a range of departments. Its Dialysis Unit provides Hemodialysis treatments for patients with acute or chronic kidney failure as well as Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) services. The Dialysis Unit at Brooks also offers pre-dialysis education for patients who are in Stage III/IV kidney disease. For more information call 363-3979.

In addition to dialysis, services at Brooks Memorial Hospital include a 24-hour Emergency Department, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Surgical Services, Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging, a Sleep Center, a full range of therapy services and inpatient care.