Remembering Sally Valentine

We mourn the passing of Sally Valentine on May 19, 2020; highly respected WSC volunteer, California school nurse, humanitarian, and friend.

In August 2012, shortly after the opening of the Botswana World Spine Care Clinics in Shoshong and Mahalapye, Sally, at her own expense, travelled to Botswana and spent 2 weeks developing and establishing a scoliosis screening program for adolescents in those communities. She was accompanied by her husband, Dr. Bob Valentine, who assisted in the recording of the findings on each student. She spent much of this time instructing nurses and teachers on the importance of, and methods for screening for scoliosis and deformity. Over 1000 children in these two small Botswana communities have since participated in the program she established.

Sally and Bob screening adolescents for the World Spine Care Scoliosis program

Sally attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison in the 1960’s where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. In 1968, she married her husband, Bob, a veterinarian. They had a son and two daughters and now have three granddaughters. Sally was initially employed in the nursing fields of pediatrics, psychology, and public health. These three specialty areas in nursing preceded a twenty-year career as a school nurse in several districts of Orange County, California. While working as a school nurse in the Irvine Unified School District, she was honored as the School Nurse of the Year in 1999.

She was a deeply warm-hearted and generous person.

O’Dane Brady

Dr. Geoff Outerbridge who helped establish the Botswana program and clinical coordinator in Botswana during the time when Sally and Bob were volunteering to establish the scoliosis program noted, “We remember Sally’s selfless dedication to helping those in need, her intense interest in others, and the warmth she exuded with everyone.”

Sally and Bob (far right) with the WSC team in Botswana.
Dr. Geoff Outerbridge, clinical coordinator, with his wife, Sofie and their family (far left). Included in the photo are Dr. O’Dane Brady, Drs. Claude and Carol Bourassa and Dr. Doug Brandvold all of whom were volunteers in Botswana at the same time as Sally.

Dr. O’Dane Brady, who was a clinical volunteer taking care of patients and who continued working in the scoliosis program stated, “I fondly remember Sally’s time with us in Botswana, both in and out of the clinic and how excited she was to share her knowledge and experience. She was a deeply warm-hearted and generous person.”

Sally was a treasured friend and travel companion of Scott and Joan Haldeman. “She was one of the kindest, most generous, energetic, humanitarian people we know. Our world is smaller with her passing. Our thoughts are with Bob and her family.”

Sally will be missed and never forgotten by us and the thousands of people whose lives she touched.

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