Tri-Valley chef joining tomorrow's event to support nursing students in Africa

Gretta FoundationGretta Foundation provides nursing scholarships, midwifery programs

All About Wine promises to be a fun-filled fundraiser with great wine and culinary treats to match. But the evening is really all about helping the Gretta Foundation, which provides nursing scholarships and midwifery programs in sub-Saharan African countries with a dire need for medical personnel.

The event will feature tastings of varietals from some of the best wineries in Northern California and the gourmet fare from 6-9 p.m., Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Building in Lafayette.

Joining in the event as culinary partner this year is Rodney Worth, the San Ramon chef who has successfully launched the Peasant and the Pear in Danville, the Peasant's Courtyard in Alamo and the Prickly Pear Cantina, the Little Pear and Ferrari's Cucina Italiana in Blackhawk as well as the Pear Southern Bistro in Napa.

"I am thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile charity event," said chef Worth, who has been recognized by some of the world's leading culinary magazines, including Michelin, Zagat and Bon Appetit. "I support the Gretta Foundation's efforts to provide much needed nursing education to countries in need."

The Gretta Foundation was founded in 2007 by Meg Styles, president of the foundation, with the mission to provide in-country nursing education in disease-burdened nations to help the needy scholarship recipients learn a profession while also bolstering depleted healthcare workforces. Styles named the organization after her mother, Dr. Margretta Madden Styles -- or Gretta, as she was known to the other nurses.

Madden Styles, dean of the nursing college at UCSF as well as other universities, was renowned as an international leader in nursing education who wholeheartedly loved her profession. She regarded her fellow nurses as the world's most honorable global citizens.

The scholarship recipients are fully supported for a maximum of four years, including tuition, living allowance, books, uniforms and clinical supplies as they attend nursing programs in their countries. They agree, after they become licensed nurses, to serve in their country's clinics and hospitals for an agreed-upon amount of time, which depends on how much assistance they received. This helps address the problem of nurses becoming educated, then leaving for higher pay and better working conditions in other countries.

Meg Styles held the first All About Wine last year to give others a chance to learn about the program and contribute. She said she is pleased to have Worth come on board for this second annual event.

"We are very excited to be working with Rodney and the rest of the Worth Group team," she said. "Rodney's reputation as a culinary innovator and gracious host is unparalleled in the Tri-Valley area, and his participation will ensure that the 2015 All About Wine event is truly special for everyone involved."

The $100 ticket includes the exclusive wines and food pairings, a commemorative wine glass, a swag bag packed with surprises and a live auction. Guests will also be able to purchase wines, with a portion of the sales benefiting the Gretta Foundation.

Foundation director Tania DeYoung noted that some wineries are offering their limited cases solely to support the work in Africa. "We hope that attendees take advantage of the opportunity to purchase such exceptional wines for the holiday season," DeYoung said.

Learn more or purchase tickets at

Healthcare and nurses

* Sub-Saharan Africa has 24% of the global disease burden but only 3% of the healthcare workforce worldwide and 1% of the global health expenditure, according to the WHO World Health Report 2006.

* Exacerbating the healthcare crisis is a problematic trend of the nursing "brain drain" due to higher pay and better workplace conditions in the more industrialized countries to the north.

* Nurses in developing countries are arguably the most important healthcare workers available as they perform a broad range of tasks and are often working in settings where no other health worker, including physicians, are available.

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About the foundation

* Nursing scholarships are granted to those who are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

* Nursing education empowers its students by helping them enter into an indispensable and remunerative profession.

* A nurse's contribution to humanity through a career of care and cure is incalculable.

* By increasing the nursing workforce globally, there is greater hope to stem the relentless advance of diseases like HIV and improve patient care worldwide.

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