Princeton Health News

Burke Foundation Endows Maternity Nursing Excellence at PMC

March 9, 2020
Didi Burke Welcome Lounge Dedication
The Princeton Medical Center (PMC) Foundation hosted a gathering at the hospital recently to dedicate the Diane W. Burke Welcome Lounge, a landmark in the PMC atrium that was renamed in recognition of a generous gift from the Burke Foundation.

The Welcome Lounge, a central landmark in the atrium at Princeton Medical Center (PMC), now bears the name of Diane “Didi” Burke in recognition of a $250,000 donation from the Burke Foundation to advance maternity nursing care at the hospital.

Diane and Jim Burke Receiving Public Service AwardMoreover, the impact of the Burke Foundation’s generous gift was doubled to $500,000, thanks to a $1 million challenge grant pledged by philanthropist Betty Wold Johnson to mark the centennial of the hospital’s parent organization, Penn Medicine Princeton Health.

The Burke Foundation, based in Princeton, was established in 1989 by the late James E. Burke, longtime CEO of Johnson & Johnson, and his wife Diane, an artist and philanthropist known to friends and family as Didi. (The Burkes are pictured, left, accepting a public service award from the Ad Council.) Burke family members are longtime residents of the Princeton community and supporters of the hospital and health system.

“The Burke Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children,” said James Burke, son of James E. Burke and president of the foundation. “Our strategy is rooted in early investments and interventions to promote children’s development, health, and well-being, and this gift is a perfect example. Our partnership with the Princeton Medical Center will enhance the knowledge and skills of maternity nurses to support ongoing, high-quality, consistent care for a safe, healthy pregnancy and childbirth experience for mothers and positive developmental outcomes for their children.”

The Burke Foundation’s gift established the Diane W. Burke Endowed Fund for Nursing Excellence, which will support the advancement of nursing practice in the Center for Maternal & Newborn Care at PMC. Mr. Burke said the endowment and the Welcome Lounge at PMC will bear Diane Burke’s name in honor of her work on the foundation’s behalf over the years.

“We are grateful not only for this gift but also for the Burke family’s long history of fostering better lives for children in the communities we serve,” said Barry S. Rabner, President and CEO of Princeton Health. “This gift presents an opportunity for us to build on our tradition of nursing excellence.”

Sheila Kempf, RN, PhD, Vice President, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), said the gifts from the Burke Foundation and Betty Wold Johnson will help launch a new era of nursing innovation at Princeton Health.

“These funds enable us to ensure that our nurses remain prepared to meet healthcare’s ever-changing needs,” Kempf said. “We plan to establish a Center of Nursing Excellence that will provide continuing education, conduct research, and test innovative concepts for new models of patient care.”

The PMC Foundation, which supports clinical care at PMC and other divisions of Princeton Health, is working to raise funds from the community dedicated to supporting nursing care across the health system. The Burke Foundation gift brings the total raised to $550,000.

For reaching that milestone, the PMC Foundation received $500,000 in matching funds that were pledged in the Centennial Challenge Grant established last fall by Betty Wold Johnson. When the PMC Foundation reaches a total $1 million in fundraising, it will receive an additional $500,000 in matching funds.

Princeton Health, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn Medicine, is a comprehensive system that includes PMC and Princeton House Behavioral Health, a regional leader in highly skilled inpatient and outpatient behavioral healthcare.

PMC is among 500 hospitals worldwide to hold Magnet® status, the highest institutional recognition for nursing excellence. The hospital also is designated an Exemplar Hospital by NICHE — Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders — an international program dedicated to promoting patient-centered care for older adults.

About The Burke Foundation

The Burke Foundation is a private foundation based in Princeton, New Jersey. It funds transformative early childhood initiatives to foster the healthy development of families and communities in New Jersey. The Burke Foundation focuses on three key areas: healthy pregnancies and births, positive parent-child relationships, and high-quality early care and learning. Learn more at

About Penn Medicine Princeton Health

Penn Medicine Princeton Health is one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems in New Jersey, providing acute care hospital services through Princeton Medical Center; behavioral healthcare through Princeton House Behavioral Health; in-home nursing, rehabilitation and hospice care; primary and specialty care through Princeton Medicine Physicians; ambulatory surgery and wellness services. For more information, visit Penn Medicine Princeton Health is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), which, together with the University of Pennsylvania’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, forms Penn Medicine, one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research and excellence in patient care.

Andy Williams, 609-252-8785

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