Published on October 14, 2015 by Philip Poole  
nursing gala award presentation

Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing honored 11 alumni at its annual Courage to Care gala Oct. 9 in Birmingham. Honorees, including Living Legacy award recipient Brandon Brock, were cited for their adherence to the maxims of the school's namesake, the late Ida V. Moffett, and their outstanding contributions to the nursing profession.

"Ida V. Moffett was characterized by her commitment to nursing education and her patient-centered approach to nursing practice," said nursing school dean Eleanor V. Howell in reference to the late nursing educator's oft-quoted belief that "It takes courage to care, to open the heart and act with sympathy and compassion."

The honorees represent the many different ways nurses impact patients, families and the world around them. From positions in intensive care units, operating rooms, administration, education, and military service, each individual followed a unique path to fulfilling a calling to the profession, Howell explained. One Living Legacy Award and 10 Courage to Care Awards were presented at the event.

Brock, serves as a staff clinician at numerous facilities in Dallas, Texas and as chief executive officer for Brock and Brock Enterprises, an education venture in functional medicine and neurology that offers continuing education courses and certification. He is cited as a highly regarded clinician, educator, motivational speaker and researcher. He is a five-time recipient of the American Chiropractic Association Council of Neurology’s Educator of the Year award and was recently presented the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation’s Humanitarian Award as a result of his research on injured military veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.  

The Living Legacy Award was established in 2012, in celebration of the school’s 90th anniversary. The award highlights a graduate whose local touch has a global reach through leadership and service to others.

The 2015 Courage to Care honorees are:

Jennifer Dardy Addington, D.N.P., M.S.N., FNP, chair of the Night/Weekend Nursing Track at Jefferson State Community College, Birmingham

Cynthia Fayet, RN, charge nurse in Labor and Delivery at Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Birmingham

Shannon S. Moody, M.S.N., CRNP, nurse practitioner in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s of Alabama, Birmingham

Nita Morrissette, M.N.A., CRNA, senior nurse anesthetist and clinical coordinator, Children’s of Alabama, Birmingham

Madonna Nichols, M.S.N., RN, administrative director of Women’s and Infant’s Services, St. Vincent’s Health System, Birmingham

Jennifer Overton, M.S.N., CRNA, nurse anesthetist, Anesthesiologists Associated, Birmingham

Angela Sanders, D.N.P., AGPCNPBC, inpatient hospitalist nurse practitioner, Baptist Medical Group, Navarre, Florida

Rachel Shaneyfelt, M.S.N., CRNP, family nurse practitioner, UAB Moody Clinic, Moody, Alabama

Letisha Shields, B.S.N., RN, nurse manager, Medical Intensive Care Unit at Princeton Baptist Medical Center

Eric K. Tondera, D.C., M.S.N., FNP-BC, owner and operator, Tondera Family Practice and Chiropractic, Houston, Texas.

The event also recognized a roster of dedicated supporters: gold sponsor John 3:16 and benefactors Jo and Robert Kicker, Money Family Trust, Princeton Baptist Medical Center and Mr. and Mrs. Carl A. Schaefer. Patron sponsors included Cathy and Roger Cartwright; Carolyn Chalkley, Susan Sheffield and Ann McEntire; Dr. Jill Cunningham; Employment Screening Services; Paula and Kerry Gossett, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing Administration; Gretchen and Randall McDaniel, St. Vincent's Health System and Sylvia Rayfield & Associates, Inc.

Samford nursing school advisory board member and retired professor Barbara Money served as chairperson of the awards gala. Members of the advisory board served as hosts for the event.

The School of Nursing presents Courage to Care awards and a Living Legacy award annually. To learn more about the awards and to download a nomination packet, please visit
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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.