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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mar 23, 2009    #033
Contact: John Austin
816-235-5251

Acclaimed author, filmmaker, combat nurse to speak at UMKC Patricia Walsh will share her “front-line” perspective of the Vietnam War

Award-winning filmmaker and author Patricia L. Walsh will discuss her experiences as a combat nurse during the Vietnam War at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Monday, March 30, 2009. The event, hosted by the UMKC School of Nursing, will begin with a reception at 7:30 p.m., followed by Ms. Walsh’s presentation at 8:00 p.m. in Pierson Hall, University Center, 5000 Holmes Street, Kansas City.

Walsh’s new book, RIVER CITY a nurse’s year in Vietnam , is a memoir of her experiences during 1967-1968 as a nurse at a hospital in Danang, where she witnessed the “dehumanizing chaos that war creates.” RIVER CITY details both the horror of war for the victims of injury and death and the psychological impact on human beings while chronicling the dedication, self sacrifice, trials and triumphs of practicing combat medicine.

Walsh grew up the eighth of fifteen children in a poor Minnesota farm family, working her way through nursing school and anesthesia training. In 1967, she volunteered to go to Vietnam to care for civilians caught in the crossfire. She suffered an injury to her back during the infamous Tet Offensive military campaign and returned home injured and in denial of the severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) she had developed.

Walsh first gained acclaim for her 1995 documentary film, The Other Angels, which profiles the courageous American civilian nurses who volunteered in 1967 for duty in primitive, understaffed and poorly supplied Vietnamese hospitals caring for wounded civilians caught in the crossfire of war. Walsh is the first war nurse to produce, write, and direct a film about women in war.

“It is also a story of love and loss, and a graphic example of how PTSD followed so many home from Vietnam,” Walsh says.

The film oscillates between two events: the reunion of these Vietnam nurses in 1993 at the dedication of the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, DC; and their days in Danang, South Vietnam, portrayed through historical film footage of their hospital, the war, and events surrounding it.

The Other Angels won the People’s Choice Award at the Denver International Film Festival, aired across the country on PBS, was named Booklist Editor’s Choice by the American Library Association, and won a Gracie and the Grand Award from American Women in Radio and Television. Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone called Walsh’s film “A moving reminder of the importance of war.” Film critic Jeffrey Lyons found The Other Angels to be “Deeply compelling and heartfelt.”

Ms. Walsh’s presentation is free and open to the public, however RSVPs are requested. Please RSVP to borag@umkc.edu or (816) 235-1752.

About the UMKC School of Nursing
The UMKC School of Nursing offers a full range of education programs including a four-year bachelor’s degree (BSN), an RN-BSN, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) and the Ph.D. in Nursing. Research at the UMKC School of Nursing is focused on Women’s and Children’s health and the school is a center of excellence in the provision of health care and education in these areas, emphasizing urban health care and wellness.

About UMKC
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

 

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