Google Doodle celebrates Panamanian American nurse Ildaura Murillo-Rohde

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Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde highlighted cultural awareness as the key to providing care.

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Ildaura Murillo-Rohde dedicated her life not only to providing care to members of the Hispanic community, but also to ensuring that others were equipped to do so as well. A key component of their approach was to emphasize the importance of nurses being culturally aware in order to provide the best possible care.

Wednesday marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and Google will dedicate its Doodle to the Panamanian-American nurse and educator to begin with. Murillo-Rohde majored in psychiatric nursing, but was also an academic and organizational administrator. She founded the National Association of Hispanic Nurses in 1975 and served as a consultant to the World Health Organization in Guatemala, among her many accomplishments.

From September 15 to October 15. 15th of each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of Hispanic Americans. In previous years, Google has also honored the pioneer of civil rights in Puerto Rico Felicitas Mendez, Mexican-American botanist Ynes MexĂ­a and big and humanitarian baseball Roberto Clemente.

Born in Panama on September 6, 1920, Murillo-Rohde immigrated to the United States in 1945, where she began her nursing career in the predominantly Hispanic city of San Antonio, Texas. After discovering that there were few Hispanic nurses in the area, she was inspired to hire and train more. As part of that effort, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychiatric nursing teaching and supervision; a master’s degree in teaching and curriculum development; and a master’s degree in education and administration.

She then held academic positions at various universities, including the first Hispanic Dean of Nursing at New York University. In 1994, the American Academy of Nursing named Murillo-Rohde a living legend.

He died in Panama in 2010, one day before his 90th birthday.

Los Angeles-based guest artist Loris Lora, who created Wednesday’s Doodle, says the artwork features colors inspired by Latin American textiles, as well as the orchid, which Murillo-Rohde was known to wear at nursing conferences. Lora, whose own sister recently became a nurse, said she hopes people will be inspired to learn about Murillo-Rohde’s accomplishments and influence in the Hispanic nursing community.

“I was very honored and excited to take on such a special project,” she told Google. “I love highlighting minority women who have helped their community and made a big difference for women of similar backgrounds.”