By Richard Ballo
Florida Gulf Coast University, November 12, 2004
Naples resident Richard Ballo recently established an endowed scholarship in memory and honor of his late wife, Melissa “Lisa” Johnson, to benefit a student from Collier and Lee counties who pursue nursing at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The FGCU Melissa C. Johnson Nursing Scholarship Fund provides monetary awards for degree-seeking residents of Collier and Lee counties who have been accepted into the nursing program. Preference is given to students who graduated from Collier or Lee high schools and who intend to practice in hospitals or nursing homes.
In 1981, Johnson founded the M.C. Johnson Co., Inc. after inventing the products CATH-SECURE Original Single Tab, which stabilizes placement of patent catheters and other medical tubes in lieu of surgical tape.
The product is sold to hospitals and distributor worldwide. She later developed the Nurses’ Night Lite and Pocket-Aid, and she was the co-inventory of the CATH-SECURE Dual Tab multi-purpose tube holder.
Until the launch of her company, Johnson was a licensed practical nurse at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass.
She died of cancer in 1993, the year her company moved operations to Naples.
“I established this scholarship to keep my wife’s memory alive and to help people become nurses because nurses are the caregiver in healthcare,” Ballo said.
To benefit the scholarship fund Ballo and Quality of Life Publishing host a book signing event at 7 p.m. Friday at Boarders Book Store in Granada Shops on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Immokalee Road in Naples.