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GEISINGER CENTENNIAL CAMPAIGN Invest in the Possible

Jessie L. Savino RN Endowment

Commitment to education and training

As an Army nurse in World War II, young Jessie Savino never let terror and devastation get in the way of caring for her wounded patients. Barbara Bossi honors her mother’s powerful legacy by supporting education and training for Geisinger-Community Medical Center employees.

Barbara Bossi and her two siblings didn't know all the details of their mother’s story until they read it in a book, “And If I Perish,” published after their mother's death. The wrenching account of a World War II attack on Allied forces at Anzio, on the Italian coast — and of the brave men and women who served there — had been too painful for Jessie Savino to share with anyone but the writers.

And small wonder. Second Lieutenant Savino (then Paddock) was already a seasoned nurse when on February 10, 1944, an anti-aircraft shell hit the beachhead, killing her two best friends, also nurses. She was appointed Acting Principal Chief Nurse, and later, Principal Chief Nurse of the 33rd Field Hospital.

Barbara’s father, Carl Savino Sr., was also at Anzio serving as an Army Medic on that fateful day.

“Mom was my role model,” says Barbara Bossi, herself a registered nurse. “She carried on and excelled in her duties, after losing her two best friends. She lived the remainder of her life determined to honor the memory of those she lost. Both she and my father were grateful to return home after the war and knew that all they sacrificed was worth it, so their future children could live and thrive in freedom.” 

But Jessie’s dedication didn’t stop with her profession. Just as she had put herself through nursing school by working at the five and dime store, she made sure her three children got a good education too. “There was an understanding between us,” says Barbara. “We worked to the fullest, and my parents supported our goals all the way.” 

Barbara sees the Jessie L. Savino RN Endowment as a way to pay that forward. “It will do for Geisinger employees just what Mom did for us — support the education and training that employees need to reach their goals.

“What a wonderful legacy.”

- Barbara J. Bossi, RN, FACHE
Associate Chief Administrative Officer
Geisinger-Community Medical Center

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