Florence Adeline “Barbaree” Graham (BASc(N) ’35)

Florence Graham (BASC(N) ’35) attended the School of Nursing’s 85th Anniversary celebration in 2004 and captivated many with stories from her long career in public health nursing. Not only did she influence the field of nursing through her professional career, but she made considerable efforts to stay in contact with students, and inspire them on their own nursing journeys.

After completing her BASC(N), Florence obtained a Masters of Public Health Nursing and used her training to build a long and meaningful career in health care. She worked for the Vancouver Metropolitan Health Board, New Westminster School Board, and Ministry of Health in Cowichan. After moving to Vancouver Island, she was employed for five years as the Night Supervisor at the Kings Daughters Hospital before retuning to her favourite occupation as a Public Health Nurse with the Ministry of Health at the Central Vancouver Island Health Unit, Margaret Moss Health Center, where she worked until her retirement in 1976.

Florence was a member of many health and nursing related boards including the original Boards of Directors for the Family Support Service (Home Makers and Home Care Nursing), the Family Life Association, Heart and Stroke Association and the Mental Health Association.

She loved her family and friends, and was a constant source of inspiration to students and nurses throughout the lower mainland, and especially at UBC.

Many students received inspiration from Florence. One such student, Nora Whyte (BASC(N) ’73), was first inspired by Florence as a Grade eight student. Florence had come to Nora’s school as a Public Health Nurse to administer immunizations; she encouraged Nora to explore Nursing by providing a patient ear and plenty of information. Later, Florence’s influence was renewed as she acted as practicum supervisor to Nora who was enrolled in the UBC School of Nursing. Of working with students, Florence has said “it’s just part and parcel of the job. You want to serve as a good role model and ensure that they get the best training and education they can get.”

Please read her In Memorium story.