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School Department News

School of Nursing

Friday, August 26, 2016 - 10:13am
Sam Whichard lost his wife of 41 years to cancer. Now he is fighting the disease. The professional care and personal attention he and his wife received has led him to make a contribution that will further healthcare education in Mississippi.
 
He is honoring his wife’s memory by establishing the Martha Elizabeth Whichard Endowed Chair of Nursing at the William Carey University Tradition campus in Biloxi. 
 
Whichard, a native of Gulfport and long-time Perkinston resident, said the people of the coastal counties benefit from an abundance of vibrant, growing education institutions such as William Carey University at Tradition, Tulane University, University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. “They all make a footprint, and it is evident there is a vision that I do not remember in my youth. I am particularly excited by the multiplicity of health programs intact or in development at WCU such as nursing, physical therapy, osteopathic medicine, and pharmacy. My gift in Martha’s name to WCU is small, but I know that it will be used effectively.”
 
Whichard believes there are two components to healthcare: professional expertise and empathy. He said professional expertise blossoms with knowledge and a magical empathy that healthcare workers share with those they serve. “Professional expertise is measured by a rigorous certification process. Empathy is measured by the heart,” he said.
 
 “My wife and I have benefitted from health care professionals with a high level of expertise. We understood more clearly their ‘human touch.’ For instance, there was a hospice nurse who patiently sat on Martha’s bed and stroked her face. There was the ER nurse who just recently assured me that I was facing the beginning, not the end.”
 
Martha Whichard worked for the Stone County School District, and her husband describes her as “a champion for people with Down’s Syndrome and autism.” Mrs. Whichard passed away in 2009, but her enthusiasm and positive attitude are still remembered. 
 
“I met Martha Whichard several years ago, and the impression she left on my life and my son’s life will certainly not be forgotten,” said Tonya Bolton, former Perkinston Elementary School principal. “I will never forget our first meeting. In walks a petite woman with a bright spark in her eyes. She greeted me with enthusiasm and wanted to get right to work. I did not know it at the time, but that was Martha - always ready to lend a hand and get to work on helping our students at Perkinston Elementary to succeed.”  
 
Over the years Whichard served as substitute teacher, volunteer, speech pathologist, mentor, parenting coach, and friend. Bolton said Whichard had a special relationship with children and that her classroom was the first and last place her son visited each day. “He always had a story to tell, and she was always eager to listen. Martha had a special way of bringing out the best in people, especially children and those with special needs.”
 
Whichard often told Bolton, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, life is too short to worry.”  Bolton said. Whichard kept that attitude throughout her illness. “She remained steadfast in her dedication to our students and our school,” she said. “The world lost a beautiful soul when Martha transitioned on. Her spirit lives on in the lives of the students and people she influenced and will continue to impact through this endowment.”
 
The endowment will help fund the nursing department chair position at the Tradition campus. “We are truly humbled that Sam chose William Carey University to establish this endowment. Martha’s legacy of service to others will be remembered each year as students pursue their dream of a career in nursing,” said Dr. Monica Marlowe, chief advancement officer for William Carey University. “We are honored to have this prestigious position named in Martha’s memory as the first endowed chair on the Tradition Campus.”
 
Friday, October 30, 2015 - 2:11pm
Thirty William Carey University nursing students were inducted into the Carey chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing during the annual induction ceremony and luncheon on October 24 at the Hattiesburg campus.
 
Membership is by invitation only and extends to students completing both undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees. Criteria include successful completion of at least half of the program; a 3.0 grade point average on core nursing courses; inclusion in the top 30 percent of the nursing class; professionalism; and the display of Christian principles in nursing care and practice.
 
Dr. Susan Lacey, a nursing professor and the director of graduate studies, faculty development and planning for Carey’s School of Nursing, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony and the luncheon. Carey’s chapter of the honor society, Chapter 462, was chartered in 2007.
 
Inductees include LaQuisha Arbuthnot of Ocean Springs; Cathy Bates of Biloxi; Allison Blair of Jay, Florida; Carissa Martine Bolden of McHenry; Jennifer Maxine Cappel of Slidell, Louisiana; John Michael Churchill of Lauderdale; Ishanda Coleman of New Orleans, Louisiana; Jeffrey Vincent Collins of Saucier; Adriane Crabtree of Hattiesburg; Trish Elizabeth Dauphin of Gretna, Louisiana; Traci Easterling of Gulfport; Andria Entrekin of Purvis; Vanessa Gibbs of Hattiesburg; Kamero Haverstic of Long Beach; Keishandra Houston of Slidell; Tamela Leshell Hyland of Poplarville; Michelle Ladreyt of Destrehan, Louisiana; Emerald Lawrence of Hattiesburg; Lauren Martinolich of Hattiesburg; Ashley McCray of McComb; Jennifer Marie McDavid of Ocean Springs; Nar’Cissa McDonald of Gautier; Christopher Ryan McMillan of Hickory; Elizabeth Nicholson of Petal; Jon Parks of Saucier; Lucretia Moore Peters of New Orleans; Stacey Waldrop of Gulfport; India Natasha Webb of Summit; Amanda Williams of McLain; and Crystal Shawnta Williams of Marion.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 2:07pm
“Actions, not words” was not only the annual theme for William Carey University as a whole; it was also a call to action for 11 Carey nursing students.
 
The students, along with Assistant Professor of Nursing Felicia Browning, traveled to Villa de San Francisco, Honduras, from May 24-31 on an evangelical mission trip. The Carey team joined 46 others from multiple cities in Alabama and Mississippi in an effort organized by Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International to share the Gospel and assist the needy in the small Honduras municipality.
 
During the trip, the group presented the Gospel to over 3,000 people and also distributed 1,000 Bibles, 376 copies of John’s Gospel, 2,800 religious tracts and 780 salvation bracelets. The team operated a medical clinic that treated 2,877 patients and distributed clothing and shoes while a pharmacy filled 18,299 prescriptions.
 
The team also operated an eyeglass ministry that fitted 142 prescription glasses, including six pairs made in the field, along with distributing 570 reading glasses and many pairs of sunglasses. A kitchen crew fed 110 people 12 meals each while the entire team distributed $3,000 worth of beans and rice to local citizens. Over 800 participants were involved in a children’s church and youth sports activities led by team members.
 
The trip marked the third year nursing students have traveled to Honduras. In March 2011, Browning traveled with seven students to San Lucas. In May 2014, Browning and 14 students traveled to Jesus de Otoro. Browning said the planning for another trip started almost immediately after returning from the 2014 trip.
 
“Our work commenced in June 2014 as we met and decided to launch a campaign for clothing, shoes and accessories … at this early date, we didn’t know for certain that a trip would ‘go’ nor did we know the people we were packing for,” she said. “We knew, however, of the needs in Honduras.”
 
Prior to the trip, the nursing students and Browning packed over 60 boxes with clothing, shoes and other items. The Carey team also held fundraisers and church presentations throughout the year to promote the university’s partnership with the medical and dental mission and to bring awareness about the needs in Honduras.
 
“Our students were thoughtful, considerate liaisons for the Lord in their delicate conversations with those in need,” said Browning. “They provided much needed one-on-one conversations, with a translator, to people desperate to be cared for … they were flexible servants, traits not unnoticed by other team members.”
 
For more information on the School of Nursing and future mission projects, visit www.wmcarey.edu/nursing or call (601) 318-6478.