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Mother-Daughter Share Deep Commitment to Service

A Mother's Day Salute to Coast Guard SPARS Veteran and Matrix Home Care Nursing Director

VENICE, Fla., May 11, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Barbara Szymanski and her mother Dorothy Kurtz share a deep commitment to the Coast Guard. "My mother has always been a shining example for me," said Szymanski, area director of nursing for Matrix Home Care. "She has inspired me throughout my career."

Back in 1942, Kurtz joined in the women's reserve of the Coast Guard in World War II. Under the leadership of Captain Dorothy Stratton, the reserve became known as SPARs, a combination of the Coast Guard motto, "Semper Paratus" and its English translation, "Always Ready."

Today, Kurtz is one of the last remaining original Coast Guard SPARS in Southwest Florida, while Szymanski is a volunteer staff officer of the Coast Guard Auxiliary unit Flotilla 92 in Northport. "My mother and I both support the military and believe in its importance to our country," Szymanski said.

On March 31, Szymanski and Kurtz were honored guests at the U.S. Coast Guard's commissioning ceremony for its newest cutter, the USCGC Dorothy Stratton. First Lady Michelle Obama, the ship's sponsor, attended the ceremony, which marked the start of service for the first Coast Guard cutter named after a female officer.

In welcoming the 40-plus SPARS veterans, Michelle Obama said, "These women are heroes. They served this country so bravely, and broke so many barriers. They paved the way for generations of women who came after them, and they helped build a world where young women all across America -- young women like my daughters -- to know that they can become anything they can imagine, even an admiral."

Through the years, Szymanski has demonstrated her commitment to service in many ways, according to said Pernille Ostberg, MBA, RPh, president and CEO, Matrix Home Care. "Barbara is a consummate and caring nursing professional," Ostberg said. "Her compassion and dedication help make her an effective leader in our organization."

One of seven children, Szymanski graduated first in her class at Columbia University nursing school and was voted "Nurse of the Year." She moved to Venice with her parents in 1989. Szymanski and her husband, Robert were foster parents for 20 children over the course of seven years.

About Matrix

Based in West Palm Beach, Matrix provides a complete array of services, home health care, disability management so injured employees can quickly return to work, independent senior care based on the needs of the elderly and specialty nurses' services, including wound care, infusion therapy and rehabilitation nursing. Certified as a woman minority owned business, Matrix serves Southwest and Southeast Florida from locations in Tampa, Jupiter, Bradenton, Venice, Boca Raton, Pompano Beach and Coral Gables.

For more information, www.matrixhomecare.com.

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