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2013 Press Releases
Former Commander of U.S. Special Operations to Present as Part of Distinguished Speaker Series
04/12/2013
CLEARWATER, Fla., (April 10, 2013) – Morton Plant Mease Foundation is pleased to welcome retired four-star Admiral Eric T. Olson, former Commander of U.S. Special Operations and a Navy SEAL, to present at its Distinguished Speaker Series at 7 p.m. on April 25 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. The event benefits the Dr. George Morris Earn As You Learn nursing education programs at the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease.

Admiral Olson served more than 38 years in the military, retiring from the Navy in 2011. At that time, he was the “Bull Frog,” the longest-serving Navy SEAL on duty. Admiral Olson served in special operations units throughout his career and earned several awards for leadership and valor, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Silver Star. He was the first Navy SEAL officer to be promoted to three- and four-star ranks. Admiral Olson’s career culminated as head of the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, where he was responsible for the mission readiness of all Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps special operations forces. In this capacity, he led more than 60,000 people and managed an annual budget in excess of $10 billion.

The Dr. George Morris Earn as You Learn nursing education programs were established by the not-for-profit hospitals of Morton Plant Mease to attract and retain quality nurses. This innovative program provides a stipend for nursing students to relieve pressures created by the need to work full-time, go to school, and provide for their families.

Over the past decade, support from our community has contributed to the success of 210 registered nurses, 170 licensed practical nurses, 378 patient care techs, and 11 Master's prepared clinical nurse leaders who have successfully completed the program.

Tickets for the event cost $150 per person ($70 of which is tax deductible). A special reception is planned from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. The program follows at 7 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Morton Plant Mease Foundation at (727) 462-7036 or visit www.MPMFoundation.org.

The Distinguished Speaker Series provides a unique partnership of individuals and businesses that make a huge difference for health care in our community. Admiral Olson’s remarkable leadership experience renews one of Morton Plant Mease Foundation’s signature events that has featured Tom Brokaw, Colin Powell, and Rudy Giuliani.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is generously presented by Morton Plant Mease Foundation’s financial partners: Northern Trust, and Regions Bank. Other key sponsors include DEX Imaging, the Doyle Family and Pinch A Penny.

About Morton Plant Mease Foundation

Established in 1977, Morton Plant Mease Foundation is a charitable organization providing philanthropic support to the not-for-profit hospitals of Morton Plant Mease, including Morton Plant in Clearwater, Mease Countryside in Safety Harbor, Mease Dunedin in Dunedin and Morton Plant North Bay in New Port Richey.

About Morton Plant Mease

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at www.BayCare.org.