Published on November 8, 2017 by Katie Stripling  
Nursing Courage to Care

Samford University's Ida Moffett School of Nursing honored 15 distinguished alumni at its annual Courage to Care gala Nov. 3. Honorees were cited for their adherence to the maxims of the school's namesake, the late Ida Vines Moffett, and their outstanding contributions to the nursing profession.

"Ida V. Moffett was characterized by her commitment to nursing education, her patient-centered approach to nursing practice, and her transformational leadership," said nursing school dean and vice provost of Samford’s College of Health Sciences Nena F. Sanders. “Like Mrs. Moffett, the Courage to Care and Living Legacy recipients embody a commitment to servant leadership, compassionate care and academic excellence.”

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. One Living Legacy Award and 14 Courage to Care Awards were presented at the event.

The Living Legacy Award was established in 2012, in celebration of the school’s 90th anniversary. The award highlights one alumnus each year whose local touch has a global reach through leadership and service to others. The 2017 recipient is Wanda Marquardt.

Marquardt’s career is as diverse as the many accomplishments she has received. She served in the Army Reserves including active duty in Desert Storm, where she cared for our nation’s heroes at Fort Benning, Georgia. She retired as a major from the Army Nurses Corps after eight years of service.For 15 years Marquardt served as chief nurse anesthetist at Carraway Methodist in Birmingham. Marquardt also served as an associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Health Related Professions and in clinical roles at Medplex in Birmingham and Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida. She currently works part time at Birmingham Surgery Center. She is past president of the Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists and has participated in numerous medical mission trips. Her career embodies the spirit of Mrs. Moffett’s legacy through her commitment to excellent patient care, her leadership and dedication to serving others.

The 2017 Courage to Care honorees, all of whom are from Birmingham unless otherwise noted, are:

Susan Sargent Alexander, M.S.N., CRNP, FNP-BC, lead nurse practitioner, Shelby Baptist Medical Center Emergency Department

Brandon Bailey, M.S.N., RN, CEN, CFRN, retired Lt. Col. United States Air Force

Michael Lynn Bailey, CRNA, director of pediatric cardiovascular anesthesia, Children’s of Alabama

Jarrod M. Cashion, DC, M.S.N., NP-C, co-owner of Cashion and De Leon NP Clinic in College Station, Texas

Risa Cole, M.S.N., ARNP, family nurse practitioner, Farm Workers Clinic in Spokane, Washington

Rio De Leon, DC, M.S.N., NP-C, co-owner of Cashion and De Leon NP Clinic in College Station, Texas

Drew DeMann, DC, CCSP, M.A., FNP, RMSK, GCSRT, director, Manhattan Medicine, New York, New York

Beatrice T. Dolihite, B.S.N., RN, Colonel, United States Air Force, and commander of the 42nd Medical Group at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama

Martha Ann Eisenberg, B.S.N., RN, nursing director and nursing educator, Chilton County Treatment Center

Libby Griffin, CRNA, anesthesia manager, Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center

Jennie Higdon, B.S.N., RN, retired nurse, NICU Brookwood Hospital

John E. Morris, CRNA, retired chief nurse anesthetist, HealthSouth Medical Center

Brenda H. O’Neal, D.N.P., RN, associate dean of nursing, Jefferson State Community College

Mary Starkey Wallace, M.S.N., RN, retired nurse educator, Wallace State Community College

The event also recognized a roster of dedicated supporters: gold sponsor John 3:16 and benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Kicker and the Carl A. Schaefer Sr. Family. Patron sponsors included: Carolyn Chalkley, Susan Sheffield and Ann McEntire; Birmingham Baptist Hospital School of Nursing Class of 1964, Children’s of Alabama, The Cole Companies, Inc., Employment Screening Services; Issis and Sons in honor of Wanda Marquardt, Mr. and Mrs. Randall McDaniel, Sharron and Larry Schlosser and Vital Source, LLC. Music was provided by Suoni de Tre and sponsored by Jane Martin, Margaret Findlay and Gretchen McDaniel on behalf of the faculty of Ida Moffett School of Nursing.

Chris Moore, a previous Living Legacy Award recipient and chair of the nursing school’s advisory board, joined Sanders in the presentation of the awards. Emily King, president of Samford University Association of Nursing Students, provided the invocation, and student musicians included Chloe Smith, Anna Taylor and Keats Rivas. 

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.