Wow, Look What You’ve Done!

You always amaze us. From great achievements, awards, and celebrations, you impress us with all of your many accomplishments. We’ve been lucky to be there with you for many of them.

California Casualty contingent and California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, celebrating Distinguished Schools with Mickey and Minnie Mouse

On the education side, California Casualty is proud to sponsor the California Distinguished Schools Awards and Gala. It was a thrilling night at Disneyland in April, as we honored the 162 public middle and high schools and 18 districts that were named 2019 Distinguished Schools and Exemplary Districts.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, thanked California Casualty for its help. “We couldn’t provide this platform of acknowledgement without our partnership with California Casualty, a long-time sponsor of our California School Recognition Program,” he said.

Nina Ericksen presenting the Distinguished School banner to Medea Creek Middle School


Our CEO, Beau Brown, expressed how fortunate we were to be a part of the special event. “We are elated to join the Department of Education, California Teachers Association and the Association of California School Administrators in congratulating all of the schools and districts being honored, especially the dedicated staff who worked so hard for this designation. Their dedication and innovative leadership has helped California continue to be one of the top states preparing students for graduation, college and beyond.”


The entire list of 2019 California Distinguished Schools can be found at


Meadville High Athletics Grant presentation

Athletics Grant presentation at Lewis
Middle School

Also in April, we announced the 64 public middle schools and high schools in 32 states that were recipients of the 2019 Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants. A total of $67,149 was awarded this year to help schools affected by tight budgets purchase equipment, improve safety or provide new uniforms. A couple examples included Lewis Middle School in CA, where the grant will help provide uniforms that will be shared by the basketball, cross country and Special Olympics teams, and Meadville Area High School in PA, where the baseball team will buy safety equipment and update the scoreboard.


The entire list of 2019 Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants awardees can be found on the California Casualty newsroom page,



Caden receiving his Create Real Impact award

California Casualty is also a proud supporter of the Create Real Impact Contest, which awards students ages 14-22 for their creative works to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving. Educational Grants totaling $12,000 were awarded in the 2019 Spring contest, including Caden Turner’s $1,500 grand prize for his video, “Listen Up.” The Missouri teen was honored during a district school board meeting in April.

Other grand prize recipients were:

  • Ashlee Walkowiak, WI, in the writing category for her work titled, “Be Different”
  • Everen Graves, CA, in the music category for the song “So Much to Live For”
  • Lindsey Sanchez, GA, in the art category for the poster “Camera Filters”

Information about the Create Real Impact Contest and the Spring 2019 winners can be found at


Karen and Field Marketing Manager DeeDee Tempeleton

And because nurses give so much, California Casualty gives back with the $1,000 Nurse’s Night Out award. Medford, Oregon ICU nurse Karen Dwyer was the most recent winner. At the check presentation in May, Karen said she will use the funds to buy a new bicycle for an upcoming cross country bike trip. “It makes me feel good to receive this honor, and it’s a wonderful way to show appreciation for the caring we give to people – especially as we start Nurses Week,” she said.

Oregon & Ohio nurses can apply for the next Nurse’s Night Out at


Tanya and NVFC’s Bob Timko with Jr. Firefighter recipient Robert Dowd

California Casualty has worked with firefighter organizations since 1974. We’ve provided support for various trainings, benefits and activities, as well as Firehouse Makeovers and Work Hard/Play Hard giveaways.

An important program that California Casualty sponsors is the National Volunteer Fire Council’s annual Junior Firefighter and Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Awards. The 2019 recipients are Robert Dowd and the Westport, Massachusetts Fire Department’s Explorer Post #744. California Casualty’s Account Relations Manager, Tanya Rigsby, helped present Robert’s award at the NVFC awards gala at the end of April. Robert remarked that it was nice to be recognized for the hard work he’s put into the fire service, and how important it is that California Casualty helps in the effort to develop future fire professionals. “The support that I have received from California Casualty has been unparalleled, and it has pushed me harder to be my best and helped me focus on reaching future goals that will put me at an advantage in life,” he said.


We also ask a lot from our law enforcement officers, with all too many losing their lives as they do their jobs. It is important that we remember and honor those who give the ultimate sacrifice.

National Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony

California Casualty was proud, once again, to attend the National Law Enforcement Memorial and help sponsor the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS awards.

Vice President of Partner Relations, Roxanne Dean, and Alina Fayerman, Account Relations Manager, represented the company as family, friends and the public honored 371 fallen officers from 2018 at the nation’s capital.

Roxanne and Alina were also present as the TOP COP Awards were presented to law enforcement officers from 10 federal, state, county, tribal and local agencies from across the country, for actions from the previous year that went above and beyond the call of duty.

California Casualty salutes the law enforcement officers for all the work they do to make a difference for their communities.


You all do extraordinary things, and California Casualty continues to thank you for your hard work. Educators have until June 30 to apply for a Music and Arts Grant at, and until July 12 for a $7,500 School Lounge Makeover at First responders can enter to win a $7,500 Garage Makeover from California Casualty at Pass the information on to your colleagues too. The entry deadline is October.


Learn more about the many resources and ways we honor the professions we serve at our blog,



In Your Community: Celebrating What You Do

May was a busy month for California Casualty as we celebrated the numerous appreciation days honoring you and all of the amazing things that you do. Our Partner Relations team was extra busy stopping by your various locations to say thanks. They loved sharing stories, seeing your smiles and showing how much we appreciate what you and your fellow educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders, EMTs, nurses and NPs do for our communities.

In recognition of May as Safe Driving Month, California Casualty was proud to sponsor and congratulate the recipients of more than $12,000 in grants given in the Spring 2018 Create Real Impact contest. Twice a year, students ages 14-22 are encouraged to submit essays or poems, artwork, videos, and music to address the critical teen distracted driving danger.

As the Presenting Sponsor of the California School Recognition Program, California Casualty is proud to make possible the events that honor the 2018 California Teachers of the Year, Classified Employees of the year, and the public schools named as Distinguished Schools.


From the many years that we have been visiting classrooms and listening to educators, we’ve learned that every person or school that is recognized represents dozens more that are doing great things for students, staff and their communities. Members of our organization joined Minnie and Mickey at the gala celebrating the 287 elementary schools named 2018 Distinguished Schools.


California Casualty is also celebrating the four Washington schools named Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The schools demonstrated how they reduced environmental impacts, improved health and wellness of students and staff and provided education on the environment incorporating STEM curriculum. California Casualty is proud to be the Local Sponsor, supporting future environmentalists with financial help, and presenting a special award to each of the schools.

California Casualty is always impressed when we get a chance to honor you and support the many groups that you belong to.

 TAKEAWAY: Learn more about the many ways California Casualty gives back to the individuals and groups we serve by visiting


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California Casualty Thanks Educators for Making a Difference

Great educators can have a lifelong impact on their students. As they challenge and encourage the learning process, they also guide them on the path to future success.

They don’t do it alone. Creating a learning environment for all students requires the combined efforts of schools, administrators, teachers and professional support staff.

Those who succeed have a passion for pushing students to reach new heights. They don’t do it for glory or adulation; they do it because they can make a difference in a child’s life. Working in education is more than just a job; it’s a calling.

That devotion is exhibited by Palm Springs Painted Hills Middle School music-band and choir instructor Brian McDaniel, California’s 2018 National Teacher of the Year nominee. He believes that, “An outstanding teacher is a force of nature, an earthquake looking for every opportunity to burst through the surface and change the world. The power of an outstanding teacher can generate countless aftershocks long after they’ve passed on.”

McDaniel’s colleagues and students say he motivates and inspires everyone he meets. He overcame being homeless and in foster care early in life through music. His belief in the power of music to heal has been embraced by students, and their performances routinely win awards.

California Casualty values the contributions of educators like Mr. McDaniel.

As the Presenting Sponsor of the California School Recognition Program, California Casualty is proud to make possible the events that honor the 2018 California Teachers of the Year, Classified Employees of the year, and the public schools named as Distinguished Schools. From the many years that we have been visiting classrooms and listening to educators, we’ve learned that every person or school that is recognized represents dozens more that are doing great things for students, staff and their communities.

With a relationship that spans 66 years, CTA and California Casualty are mutually committed supporting educators in their goal of improving the learning environment. We understand that great teachers don’t accomplish great things by themselves. That’s why California Casualty and CTA are sponsors of the California School Recognition Program.

California Casualty CEO Beau Brown said it best when he remarked, “Our partnerships with CTA and the California Department of Education is a testament of how schools, businesses and communities can come together to promote the remarkable successes of those developing the minds of our future generations.”

California Casualty supports educators in other meaningful ways with programs that have real impact on their lives. These include $7,500 School Lounge MakeoversCalifornia Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants;  Impact Teen Drivers “Create Real Impact” contest that works to end distracted driving crashes – the number one killer of teens today; and $250 Help Your Classroom grants.

We thank everyone involved with education that makes a difference every day.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction with California Casualty AVP Lisa Almeida, Field Marketing Manager Amanda Keidel and CEO Beau Brown at 2017 Teachers of the Year Ceremony

Celebrating Women’s History Through a Timeline of Nursing

Celebrating Women’s History Through a Timeline of Nursing

Women’s History Month celebrates the innumerable contributions of women to American society. Given that 91% of nurses are women (and an even higher percentage historically) – it seems fitting to honor women’s history by looking back on how the nursing profession began and grew in the U.S.

This profession has been and continues to be built by a legion of extraordinary women who helped shape modern health care as we know it today. These pioneering figures fought for the care and treatment of the sick; developed a rigorous educational and professional nursing practice; invented new techniques, technologies, and systems; advanced gender and racial equality; and brought their skills and expertise to bear on many other fields.

Those advancements and achievements are evident in this abbreviated timeline of nursing in America – with some surprises along the way!


A Nursing Timeline

1800 – 1900

1820 – Florence Nightingale is born in Florence, Italy. She will become a social reformer, statistician, and founder of modern nursing. She trained as a nurse in Egypt, Germany, and France and also worked in Turkey before returning to the U.K.

1841 – Dorthea Dix testifies in legislature about the poor treatment of patients with mental illness. Her work as an advocate of the mentally ill would eventually create the first mental asylums in the US. She would go on to serve as Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War.

1859 – Florence Nightingale publishes her views on nursing care in “Notes on Nursing,” which informs the tenets of modern nursing practice.

1861 – 1865 – During the Civil War, the American Army Nurse Corps triages and treats soldiers.

1873 – 1889 – The Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing is founded in New York City as the first nursing school in the United States. Shortly after, training schools are established in Connecticut and Boston.

1881 – Clara Barton founds and becomes the first president of the American Red Cross.

1886 – “The Nightingale,” the first American nursing journal, is established.

1896 – The Nurses Associated Alumnae holds its first meeting, with an early goal of improving nursing care for American soldiers. It would later be renamed the American Nurses Association and become one of the largest nursing organizations in the US.


1900 – 1950

1901 – The United States Army Nurse Corps is established.

1902 – New York City Board of Education hires Lina Rogers Struthers as North America’s first school nurse.

1908 – The United States Navy Nurse Corps is established.

1908 – The University of Minnesota School of Nursing awards its first bachelor’s degree in nursing, setting a new standard in nurse training.

1918 – Lenah Higbee is the first living woman to be awarded the Navy Cross for distinguished service.

1918 – Frances Reed Elliot enrolls as the first African-American in the American Red Cross Nursing Service.

1918 – Viola Pettus, an African-American nurse in Texas, garners fame for her care of Spanish Flu victims, including members of the Ku Klux Klan.

1919 – 1923 – Mary Breckinridge, founder of the Frontier Nursing Service, rides 700 miles on horseback to survey the health needs of rural Kentuckians.

1938 – The Nurses Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery is established, created to honor nurses who served during World War I. Over 600 nurses are buried there.

1941 – 1945 – More than 59,000 American women serve in the US Army Nurse Corps and over 11,000 women serve in the US Navy Nurse Corps during World War II.

1943 – Delaware is the first state to admit African-American nurses to membership.


1950 – Present

1951 – The National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses merges with the American Nurses Association.

1951 – Vocational Nursing standards for education and the LPN / LVN level of nursing is established.

1954 – One of the country’s first Ph.D. programs in nursing is offered at the University of Pittsburgh.

1955 – Elizabeth Lipford Kent becomes the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in nursing.

1955 – The US Army Nurse Corps admits Edward L.T. Lyon, its first male nurse.

1955 – The nation’s first master’s degree in nursing is granted at Columbia University School of Nursing.

1959 – Dee O’Hara becomes the first aerospace nurse to NASA’s first astronauts, laying the groundwork of the field of Space nursing.

1963 – Ruby Bradley retires from the US Army Nurse Corps with 34 medals and citations for bravery.

1965 – The first nurse practitioner (NP) role is established.

1965 – The US Navy Nurse Corps admits its first male nurse.

1974 – Florence Wald, dean at Yale Nursing School, founds Connecticut Hospice, establishing the US hospice movement.

1977 – The M. Elizabeth Carnegie Nursing Archives is established in Virginia, serving as the only archives in the States dedicated to minority nurses.

1979 – The first clinical doctorate – a nursing doctorate (ND) – is established at Case Western Reserve University, OH.

1980 – Viola Davis Brown is the first African-American nurse to lead a state office of public nursing in the U.S.

1990 – The Department of Health and Human Services creates a commission to address the national nursing shortage.

1992 – Eddie Bernice Johnson is the first nurse elected to the U.S. Congress.

2010 – The Institute of Medicine issues a critical report, The Future of Nursing, which contains evidence-based recommendations to lead change for improved health care.

2014 – The Affordable Care Act becomes law, resulting in an estimated 8 million new health insurance enrollees. This spike in health care utilization leads to a demand for travel nurses that reaches a 20-year high.

2019 – The number of registered nurses (RNs) crosses the 4 million threshold, with a total of 4,096,607 in the U.S. as of October 2019.

2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic showed the world that nurses are the cornerstone of health care.

Celebrating Women’s History Month wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging nurses’ immense contributions to the medical field, public health, and gender and racial equality. In just 200 years, they’ve gone from a role primarily of “caretakers” to highly skilled and trained professionals who are advancing health care in broad and exciting ways.

What’s next for nurses? Hard to tell, but we know that whatever it is — it’s going to be amazing!


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

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