Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-09-22

Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing honored 25 alumni for their “courage to care” during a September 17 awards gala.

The honorees, said nursing dean Dr. Nena Sanders, were nominated because they adhere to the maxims of the school’s namesake, the late Ida V Moffett, who once said, “It takes courage to care, to open the heart and act with sympathy and compassion.”

“We celebrate all of you for your excellence in all areas, especially in patient care,” said Dr. Sanders.

The award recipients all hold degrees from the School of Nursing or its forerunner, Birmingham Baptist Hospital.  They represent a variety of specialties within the nursing profession.

The program included remarks by Samford vice president for university advancement Randy Pittman who noted that the university’s record enrollment of 4,715 this fall is in large part to the popularity of the nursing school with its record 650 students.

As the father of a recent Samford nursing graduate, Pittman said, he received an up-close and personal view of what the school is and what it means. “It’s not just about statistics and numbers, but it is about the day to day interchange between the nurse and patient.”

Also speaking from the heart was student Nicole Sargent, a mother of two who is enrolled in the school’s second-degree bachelor’s program. Sargent, whose youngest child was born three years ago with serious medical problems, expressed appreciation to the faculty for their caring spirit and to donors who make possible the scholarship help that she receives.

“Without people with courage to care, I couldn’t be here today. You are sowing seed into good ground,” said Sargent, who already holds a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field.

Noted  Dr. Sanders: “Scholarships do more than allow students to attend school. They change lives.”

Each Courage to Care honoree received an inscribed plaque. This year’s winners are:

Susie Bowden, medical nurse educator and clinical practice coordinator, Princeton Baptist Medical Center

Cynthia Briner, clinical excellence nurse manager, Brookwood Medical Center

Carolyn Chalkley, nursing education and Joint Commission specialist

Paula Lutz Davenport, director of surgical services, Princeton Baptist Medical Center

Mary Ann Davis, clinical education coordinator, St. Vincent’s Health System

Karen Faircloth, emergency room director, Trinity Medical Center

Gerald Forshee, charge nurse, hospitalist floor, UAB Hospital

Bridget T. Gilley, cardiovascular clinical educator, Princeton Baptist Medical Center

Kerry Gossett, chief certified registered nurse anesthetist, St. Vincent’s Birmingham/Anesthesia Resources Management

Delphene Hobby-Noland, director of women’s service-newborn intensive care unit, Brookwood Medical Center

Suzanne Holland, chief retention officer/manager of recruitment, St. Vincent’s Health Systems

Jessica Johnson, staff nurse, medical surgical floor, St. Vincent’s East.

Marcia Lowe, advanced nursing coordinator, medical division, UAB Hospital

Wanda Marquardt, nurse anesthetist, Medplex, Birmingham, and Andrews Institute, Gulf Breeze, Fla.; retired, Army Nurse Corps, U.S. Army Reserve

Frances McCurdy, manager, same day services and post anesthesia care unit, St. Vincent’s East.

Doris Jordan Myers, retired director of nursing service, Massillon Community Hospital, Massillon, Ohio

Laurie O’Dell, charge nurse, surgical intensive care unit, St. Vincent’s East.

Sylvia Rayfield, board chair, Sylvia Rayfield & Associates, Inc., president, Pathways, Inc., executive director, ICAN Publishing, Inc.

Sharron P. Schlosser, professor and coordinator of Master of Science in Nursing nurse educator track, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing

Doris Strother, advanced practice nursing coordinator, cardiovascular services, UAB Hospital

Joy Whatley, professor and associate dean of the undergraduate program, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing

Johnny Whitfield, charge nurse, surgical intensive care unit, UAB Hospital

Lynn Woo, charge nurse, early morning admissions unit, Trinity Medical Center

Regina Yarbrough, chief nursing officer, Princeton Baptist Medical Center

Nan Zeanah, clinical nurse, medical/surgical/oncology unit, Trinity Medical Center

The awards program was sponsored by benefactors Princeton Baptist Medical Center and St. Vincent’s Health System; and patrons Brookwood Medical Center, Judge and Mrs. Robert G. Faircloth, Paula and Kerry Gossett, Jo and Robert Kicker, Gretchen and Randall McDaniel, Money Family Trust, Mrs. Doris J. Myers and Trinity Medical Center.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.