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A legacy continues; Daisy P. Swinton Scholarship now available for nursing students

Mrs. Daisy Swinton at her pinning ceremony
Mrs. Daisy Swinton at her pinning ceremony(Huntsville Hospital)
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 2:24 PM CDT
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published April 14, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT - Updated April 15 at 3:21 PM on waff.com)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Great Health Divide) - A new scholarship is available for nursing students in north Alabama, and its in honor of one trailblazing Huntsville nurse.

Daisy P. Swinton served Huntsville Hospital patients for 40 years, working her way from housekeeping to the hospital’s first ever African American ICU Nurse Manager. A new scholarship was just launched in her memory to encourage and empower future nursing students to follow in Daisy’s footsteps.

Mrs. Daisy Swinton
Mrs. Daisy Swinton(Huntsville Hospital)

The scholarship was founded by Huntsville Hospital alongside her family. It’s funded by a community of generous donors who want to see Swinton’s legacy continue.

The application is open to any employee of Huntsville Hospital, or to high school or college students accepted to a nursing school or program.

“Daisy’s career was marked by an ongoing commitment to learn and serve. We are honored to share her story and impact the next generation of nurses who will go on to serve our patients and community,” said Fannie Proctor, Daisy P. Swinton Scholarship Committee chair and Huntsville Hospital employee relations specialist.

Swinton began her career with the hospital when she was hired as housekeeping in 1957. Dedicated to her dreams, Swinton later pursued training to be a nurse’s aide and then a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). As an LPN, she eventually completed her Associate Degree in Nursing from Calhoun Community College, receiving her Registered Nurse certification in 1975 – all while raising her own family.

Not long after becoming an RN, Swinton was tagged to work alongside physicians to help expand the hospital’s care for critically ill patients with the establishment of Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

Hospital officials say during her tenure as a nurse manager, she played a pivotal role in the design, organization, and development of policies and procedures for the new unit, and was the first African American to serve as an ICU nurse manager at Huntsville Hospital.

Swinton retired in 1997, and recently passed away in August 2020.

“It was a scholarship, much like this one, that empowered my mother to continue her education and receive the training she needed to fulfill her goals,” said Dawna Swinton Baker, Daisy’s daughter. “This scholarship will change many lives, just like Daisy did every day. I hope that anyone who has that same drive and passion is inspired to apply.”

April 14 would have been Swinton’s 83rd birthday, as a gift, her scholarship was announced on the same day.

Applications open April 15, and submissions will be accepted through July 1. For more information on qualifications and criteria to apply, visit huntsvillehospitalfoundation.org/daisyswinton.

Additionally, a campaign is underway to make sure funding continues for the future of the Daisy Swinton scholarship. If you want to help Daisy’s legacy and support future nurses, you are encouraged to donate online. Donations can be made in honor of local nurses, and 100 percent of proceeds benefit the scholarship fund. Learn more at huntsvillehospitalfoundation.org/nursesweek.

Daisy P. Swinton Scholarship ceremony
Daisy P. Swinton Scholarship ceremony(Huntsville Hospital)

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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