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Saluting a Friend and Philanthropic Ally to Nursing

Self-made broadcast pioneer and media mogul Norman Knight has generously supported the Nursing Department at Mass. Eye and Ear for more than 20 years

For more than 20 years, self-made broadcast pioneer and media mogul Norman Knight has been a thoughtful and generous supporter of Mass. Eye and Ear. Fueled by an unrelenting devotion to giving back to the world around him, he is committed to helping others achieve their best.

Norman’s philanthropy has reached into every corner of our hospital, funding leadership development awards in both ophthalmology and otolaryngology, the establishment of the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center and an extraordinary needs fund for employees, to name just a few.

But perhaps his greatest philanthropic endeavor—and one that is near and dear to his heart—is his commitment to the Nursing Department at Mass. Eye and Ear.

People at an event
Norman Knight, with Mass. Eye and Ear Ophthalmology Chief Dr. Joan Miller and Dr. Reza Dana at an event.

A Champion for Nurses

Norman has long valued the nursing profession for its integral and irreplaceable role in delivering the best possible care to patients. He recognizes the incredible service nurses provide and the sacrifices they make in the interest of others.

Kathy O’Connor, Nurse Educator for Mass. Eye and Ear

To honor the exceptional nursing staff at Mass. Eye and Ear, Norman established a series of endowment funds from which awards are granted on an annual basis. The Norman Knight Nursing Scholarship Fund provides merit scholarships to nurses at Mass. Eye and Ear who have demonstrated commitment to advancing their careers and professional education. The Norman Knight Nursing Excellence Award recognizes team members who show exemplary leadership, compassion, and dedication to their patients and fellow employees.

Norman has also named funds to support social functions for the nursing team, such as birthday parties and celebratory dinners, as well as a sponsorship that enables a group of nurses to attend Mass. Eye and Ear’s annual Sense-ation! Gala in support of the Curing Kids Fund.

In 2010, Norman increased his philanthropic commitment to nursing at Mass. Eye and Ear by making a very generous gift to establish the Norman Knight Nursing Center. This Center provides a dedicated space at the hospital where the nursing team can hold meetings, training sessions and social gatherings. It features adult and pediatric patient simulators that give nurses a hands-on, real-life environment in which to apply clinical knowledge and practice communication and decision-making skills.

A Permanent Home

In order to ensure the Norman Knight Nursing Center remains a permanent resource for nurses at Mass. Eye and Ear, Norman created an endowment fund to support renovations, equipment purchases and any other needs of the nursing staff, now and for years to come. The annual Norman Knight Nursing Awards are also endowed in perpetuity, so our nurses will always be recognized and celebrated for their critical contributions to Mass. Eye and Ear and to the health and lives of our patients.

When asked to reflect on his many generous contributions, Norman characteristically deflects the spotlight back onto the hospital. He asks, “What would we do if Mass. Eye and Ear wasn’t here? Where would we go to be treated for diseases that no other place can?”

Thanks in large part to Norman’s extraordinary partnership, that’s a question that may never need to be answered.

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