GENEVA, Switzerland, 8 January 1999 - The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is delighted to announce that Christopher Reeve, actor, director and President of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, will be Honorary Patron for this year's celebrations of the ICN centennial. "As a hero on screen and even more so in real life, Christopher Reeve has lent his celebrity and indomitable spirit in support of improved health and quality of life for all", said ICN President Kirsten Stallknecht. "Mr. Reeve understands, through personal experience, how nursing care is crucial to the recovery and maintenance of health. We are extremely proud to have him associated with nurses and nursing and to have him support our centennial celebrations. "
"Nurses have been pivotal to my own recovery and health. I know this is also true for millions around the world who are restored to health and comforted in illness by the caring, compassion and expertise of nurses," said Mr Reeve. " As Honorary Patron for the 100th birthday of the International Council of Nurses, I ask that we recognise the work of our nurses and thank them for their contribution in promoting good health in all of our communities."
Since its founding 1 July, 1899, the International Council of Nurses has represented nurses and nursing worldwide, advancing the profession and shaping health policy. ICN is the world's first and widest reaching international organisation for health professionals, representing millions of nurses in 118 member countries. ICN's centennial year celebrations aim to remind the world how in homes, work places, schools, hospitals, villages, refugee camps and many other settings, nurses promote the health and well-being of their communities, educate, tend to people in need and search for new ways to improve the health of humanity.
Distinguished actor and director Christopher Reeve has been a quadriplegic since his catastrophic injury that occurred during an equestrian event in 1995. But even during his difficult months of rehabilitation, Reeve used the international interest in his situation to take up the disability cause for others and to raise money for research into a cure. An activist and humanitarian throughout his adult life, Reeve has involved himself in many charities and causes relating to health, human rights, the arts and the environment. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the American Paralysis Foundation (http://www.apacure.org) and Vice Chairman of the National (US) Organisation on Disability. Reeve and his wife Dana act as President and Vice President of the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Mr Reeve's professional acting and directing career continues to draw critical and audience acclaim and his autobiography Still Me has touched the hearts of millions of readers.
Christopher Reeve, our centennial patron, with his head nurse Tracy Deluca RN BCA
The official inauguration of the ICN centennial celebrations will take place 28 January 1999, in Geneva, the world centre for international co-operation and humanitarian organisations and the site of ICN's corporate headquarters. The event includes a rare historical exhibition entitled One Hundred Years of Nurses Caring, which paints a portrait of the evolution of health care and the nursing profession over the last century.
The highlight of ICN's centennial will be the International Nursing Conference, to be held in London, UK, on 27 June-1 July, 1999. Nurses from across the globe will gather for this five-day event, hosted by the Royal College of Nursing. The conference will be addressed by international speakers including Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of the World Health Organisation, Carol Bellamy, UNICEF Executive Director, and Rear Admiral Julia Plotnick, former assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service.
Throughout its history, ICN has worked for and promoted policies, standards and conditions that allow nurses to practice their profession to the full extent of their education and ability and work towards better health for all.