A Closer Look: Mary Ann van Dam School of Nursing in Kenya

Mary Ann van Dam, associate professor and director of the School of Nursing at SF State, is heading to Kenya for the grand opening Friday, Sept. 12 of a school of nursing named in her honor.

Associate Professor and School of Nursing Director Mary Ann van Dam has been working in Kenya for years.

Mary Ann van Dam and friends

The Mary Ann van Dam School of Nursing in Ukwala, Kenya, in the west of the East African country near Lake Victoria, is an initiative of the Matibabu Foundation, a registered nongovernmental organization. The foundation has partnerships with local and international health groups to promote quality care in Kenya and abroad. The nursing school features lecture rooms, modern laboratories and a library stocked with books and teaching and learning materials, along with Internet service. Its three-and-a-half-year training program is approved by the Nursing Council of Kenya and recognized regionally and globally, complemented by local and international medical doctors.

Van Dam, who has been working in Kenya for many years, “is committed to establishing a model training institution that is not only sensitive to the health care needs of the community and training needs of health care professionals, but also one that will drive innovation and improvements in health care worldwide,” according to the Matibabu Foundation. She has met the nation’s health minister during a previous trip and anticipates that dignitaries will attend the school ceremony.

-- Anthony Lazarus