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Florence M. Burnett, 91, nurse, health consultant


Florence M. Burnett, a public health nurse and who consulted extensively in mental health and emotional aspects of patient care, died June 20 of heart failure at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. A Towson resident, she was 91.

She was a consultant for the Division of Nursing of the state health department from 1952 to 1978. She administered educational and research programs at University Hospital to help public health nurses understand patients' feelings, attitudes and behavior. Her project reached more than 300 nurses.

A lecturer and consultant to agencies across the nation, she was an instructor in applied psychology for graduate nurses at the University of Maryland. During the 1960s, she also taught at conferences and workshops for school nurses and for elementary and secondary school teachers.

She was a liaison between local health departments and Rosewood Center in Owings Mills, working with mentally retarded individuals and their families. She also served as a communications facilitator between the Holly Center in Salisbury and Eastern Shore health departments.

The Maryland Public Health Association gave her the M. Francis Etchberger Award in 1978 for contributions to maternal and child health.

Born in New York City and raised on Long Island, she was a 1935 graduate of the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in New York. She received a bachelor's degree in public health nursing from New York University in 1944 and a master's degree from Teachers College of Columbia University in 1950.

She worked as a nurse in New York and as a rural public health nurse in Colorado. She was in the Army Nursing Corps from 1944 to 1948, serving in the Philippines. She then was a public health nursing consultant in mental health with the North Carolina Health Department before relocating to Maryland.

She lived in Baltimore for several years before moving to Towson.

She enjoyed traveling, mostly to Western Europe, and spending time with her family. She also enjoyed bowling.

In retirement, she was active in American Red Cross activities and committees dealing with disaster nursing.

She also was active in social ministry services at Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson and volunteered at the church's thrift shop, the Surprise Shop.

She served on the health and scholarship committees at Edenwald in Towson, where she lived for about 12 years.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave., at 10 a.m. today.

She is survived by her friend and companion of more than 50 years, Polly Kummer of Towson; and two nephews, K. King Burnett and George E. Burnett Jr., both of Salisbury.

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