(Sept. 7, 2007)
An East Carolina University nurse has earned the "Great 100 Nurse" designation for North Carolina.
Ruth Vandiford, nurse manager for the Department of Family Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, has been recognized for her achievements in the field of nursing by The Great 100, a statewide grassroots peer organization. Each year the group recognizes registered nurses who demonstrate excellence in practice and commitment to their profession. Vandiford of Greenville will be honored at an Oct. 6 gala in Greensboro.
Vandiford served 20 years in the Department of Family Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, beginning in 1986 as a staff nurse and more recently as nurse manager. She retired Sept. 1, 2006.
Vandiford received her bachelor's of science degree in social work from ECU in 1974 and an associate's degree in nursing from Pitt Community College in 1986.
"Her education in social work and nursing has given her a unique knowledge base, making her an asset to the school, her colleagues and the patients under her care," said Dr. Robert Newman, clinical associate professor in the ECU Family Medicine Center. "She is a strong and relentless advocate for all patients and serves as an excellent role model for nurses. Ruth especially enjoys her role as mentor and teacher and has served in that capacity for countless medical residents, nurses and other staff over the years."
Vandiford also was honored with the 2006 Nurse of the Year Excellence in Health Care Award at the Brody School of Medicine.
"It has been a wonderful experience being a nurse with the ECU Brody School of Medicine and participating in the teaching of the family medicine residents and nursing staff," Vandiford said. "The most rewarding part of my work over the years has been the care of the family medicine patients. I miss the interaction with patients since retiring."
Although retired, Vandiford traveled to the Dominican Republic in March with a team of ECU physicians and nurses who provided care for people without access to health care. Some traveled into remote villages while others worked at a clinic providing gynecological surgery and biopsies. The medical team finances its own expenses and goes biannually to the country to provide health care.