Willie Francis started working for Riverside in 1956. The Willie P. Francis Education Scholarship was established in her honor when she retired from the Mother/Baby unit in October 2003 after decades of service to Riverside. Willie’s special contributions to nursing are best described by her coworkers and patients, but her constant dedication to duty and performance of her tasks in a most friendly manner were obvious. She earned the respect of co-workers, new parents and physicians. A personal reference obtained when she was originally interviewed in 1956 states, “you will find her to be a person of good character, a person whose personality is very pleasing and she will carry out any assignment cheerfully.” Her reputation upon retirement remained the same.
Willie P. Francis Scholarship Winner
Samantha Verser, R.N. was awarded the 2015 Willie P. Francis Education Scholarship. Samantha is a nurse on Riverside Regional Medical Center's Labor and Delivery Unit. "The last place I thought I would find myself is labor and delivery," she said. "I started on the medical/surgical orthopedic floor. I learned how to be a nurse on that floor. I learned to manage my time well and gained as much knowledge from more experienced nurses as I possibly could. I learned how to really care for people – to hold their hands as they took their last breaths, and hug their family and tell them it will be okay. Being a nurse is about so much more than I ever thought. The nurses I worked with became my family." Samantha is pursuing her BSN at Rappahannock Community College. "Continuing my education is extremely important to me. My patients only deserve the best that I can give them, and by going back to school I know I can make a difference in the quality of care I am able to provide."
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About the Fund: The Willie P. Francis Education Scholarship was established with a lead contribution by Dr. Stephen Bolduc to encourage employees of the Birthing and Family Health Services at Riverside Regional Medical Center to advance their skills and education in the field of maternal-child health. Scholarship funds are also available for students whose future work interest is within the maternal-child health field.