Sculpture Honoring Betty Jane France Unveiled at Halifax Medical Center

Betty Jane France poses next to statue

Betty Jane France poses in front of the statue
commissioned in her honor

DAYTONA BEACH (16 February 2006) - At a special ceremony held Tuesday, Feb. 14, community leaders joined Halifax Medical Center (HMC) Board members, physicians, nurses and staff in unveiling a sculpture commissioned in honor and recognition of Betty Jane France. Members of the France family and the racing community were among the invited guests.

HMC Foundation President Glenn Ritchey opened the ceremony by thanking Mrs. France for her ongoing support and commitment to the hospital. Noting she is responsible for helping raise in excess of $2 million in support of healthcare services for children and women in our community, Richey gave many examples of her support and influence including the fact that Speediatrics was named one of three designated children’s charities to benefit from NASCAR Day 2005, and will be again in May 2006.

Jeff Feasel, CEO and president of Halifax Community Health System, then outlined the many services Halifax provides to infants, children, women and families, emphasizing the significance of community support for these services. “Caring for the community is our mission. Everything we do, every decision we make, and every dollar we invest is dedicated to providing the best and most compassionate care possible.

“But we can’t do it alone. It is only through the dedication and support of people like Mrs. France that we are able to achieve our goals. Our community is a healthier place because of her, and for that we honor her,” said Feasel.

Following poignant comments from Dr. Lindsey Johnson, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, and Nurse Manager Catherine Privett about what her support has meant to the children and families they care for, proclamations were presented by Volusia County Council Chairman Frank Bruno and City of Daytona Beach Mayor Yvonne Scarlett-Golden, officially naming Feb. 14, 2006 “Betty Jane France Day.”

After presenting Mrs. France with 36 long-stemmed red Valentine roses - one for each bed in Speediatrics - Halifax Board Chairman Mori Hosseini, along with Ritchey and France, moved into the main lobby to unveil the sculpture. Titled by the artist Paul Baliker “Safe and Secure,” the bronze sculpture depicts two small children, sitting in the palm of a large hand.

On Nov. 12, 2003, at the Halifax Medical Center Foundation’s annual Humanitarian Award Dinner where Betty Jane France was honored for her ‘advocacy, commitment, support and advancement of healthcare and human services for women, infants, children and families.’ It was announced that evening that the Foundation would commission a bronze sculpture by Baliker to depict Mrs. France’s care and concern for the health and well being of children.  Two castings of the sculpture were done. The other is at Betty Jane France’s home in Daytona Beach.