YSN's annual Creative Writing Awards has recently been renamed the Griswold Special Home Care Creative Writing Awards in honor of an endowment made by Lesley Mills, a Yale Associate Fellow and passionate proponent of creative non-fiction writing. Mills is the owner of Griswold Special Care, a provider of home care for seniors since 1982.
"The YSN Creative Writing Program offers a therapeutic balm to young nurses as they grapple with the challenges and ultimate satisfactions that nursing brings," Mills stated. "Endowing the YSN Creative Writing Program is part of my personal legacy. This program addresses my desire to combat the increasing view that health care professionals are simply that: professional but not caring. By spreading the words of compassion that these young nurses share, we will help increase confidence in the profession."
Mills was one of the first women undergraduates at Yale, going on to lecture at the Epidemiology and Public Health School and the School of Organization and Management. She has been a keynote speaker nationally and internationally for groups including the National Medical Records Association, the World Health Organization, state medical societies, and most recently the Total Woman Conference.
Mills has received multiple awards including the SBA Business of the Year Award, International Athena Award from Governor Rell, the Metro Hartford Award, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Association Awards. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, Orchestra New England and Long Wharf Theatre. Currently she's a board member of Yale School of Nursing Creative Writers and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Fund for Women and Girls.
All of these works help Mills establish herself as "part of a growing movement in women's philanthropy." "For those of you who don't yet think of yourselves as a philanthropist, I encourage you to take the suit of philanthropy out of the men's closet and try it on. If it doesn't quite fit, have it tailored," Mills charges. "Come out and play with me as we give of our time, our talents and our treasure. The world will be the better for it, and so will you."