Congratulations, Dr. Longa!

Peter Longa, surrounded by many of his nursing colleagues. He’s holding a congratulatory painting created by Pearl Chiang, a nurse-artist, standing to his left.

Peter Longa, a native of Sudan who was forced by civil war to leave his country in 1991, joined Matheny as a personal care assistant three years later. A recipient of a Matheny Nursing Scholarship Award, Longa received his nursing certificate from Raritan Valley Community College in North Branch, NJ, and, while there, was awarded the Joanne Nitcheky Sergeant Award for excellence in clinical nursing. In 2006, he was selected to receive the Governor’s Nursing Merit Award in the Registered Nurse Post Acute Category. Longa earned an MSN at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey and recently completed his doctorate in nursing practice program, also at UMDNJ.

Since 2010, Longa has been the  night nursing supervisor at Matheny, and on one recent morning, as he was preparing to leave for home, his colleagues surprised him with a congratulatory breakfast.

Longa, after recovering from his surprise, talked about “the spirit of family at Matheny,” which has kept him here for 18 years. In a 2004 article in Advance for Nurses, Longa had talked about the Matheny patients. “You need to get to know them in order to communicate,” he said. “I think nursing is all about caring, taking care of people. To me, that is the bottom line.”

And no one does it better than Longa. “When I come here in the morning,” said Steve Proctor, president, “I see Peter, and I know everything is okay.”

Longa, after receiving his doctorate, accompanied by his wife Poni, son Tomor and daughter Sophia.