April 17, 2014  

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School of Nursing Gets Annual Scholarship in Physician’s Name

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An annual scholarship in the School of Nursing at Southern Miss has been established in honor of Dr. Frederick E. Tatum (center).

With a gift of $100,000 to The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, South Mississippi Home Health Foundation Inc. has established an annual scholarship in the School of Nursing in honor of Dr. Frederick E. Tatum of Hattiesburg.

The Frederick E. Tatum, M.D. Annual Nursing Scholarship will be awarded to nursing students with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, with preference given to students interested in home health care and community health. The first five recipients of the scholarship received money at the beginning of the fall 2010 semester.

Founded in 1987 by South Mississippi Home Health Inc. (currently Deaconess Homecare and Deaconess Hospice), South Mississippi Home Health Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization funded by donations from Deaconess employees in Mississippi and from investment income. The foundation is directed by Mary Stainton, president, and Elaine Temple, secretary/treasurer, both of Hattiesburg. Fellow board member and vice president of professional services for Deaconess HomeCare, Penny Lovitt, also played an instrumental role in establishing the scholarship in honor of Tatum.

“Homecare is primarily delivered by registered nurses in the communities. The board members of South Mississippi Home Health Foundation were seeking a mechanism to honor Dr. Tatum and also to benefit nursing and homecare,” said Stainton. “The board is excited and pleased to work with Southern Miss on the establishment of this scholarship.”

Brittany Lewis, a senior nursing major from Meridian, Miss., is one of the first to receive the annual nursing scholarship. “I am honored to be a recipient of this scholarship. Not only will it help me financially, but it will also help me to further my education,” said Lewis. “Dr. Tatum is a great role model for the health care community.” Upon graduation, Lewis plans to become a nurse anesthetist or continue on to a School of Osteopathic Medicine.

“It is an honor for the School of Nursing to be the recipient of the funding from the South Mississippi Home Health Foundation to set up the Frederick E. Tatum, M.D. Annual Nursing Scholarship for undergraduate and graduate nursing students,” said Dr. Katherine Nugent, director of the School of Nursing. “This scholarship will ease the financial burden of the recipients and facilitate the achievement of their educational goals. It is also an inspiration to our students to receive a scholarship named for Dr. Tatum who supported nurses and their practice for many years.”

South Mississippi Home Health Foundation found it important to honor Dr. Tatum for his commitment to health care in Hattiesburg. In 1963, he was one of 10 physicians to found Hattiesburg Clinic. He was also one of the founders of the second home health company in Mississippi in 1969.

“Dr. Tatum has, and will always be, a champion for students entering the health care delivery system. He is a man who is dedicated to the learning process and has a strong desire for everyone to keep learning,” said Stainton.

Tatum also played a significant role in the success of South Mississippi Home Health Inc. as it became one of the largest homecare companies in the state and region and was recognized nationally for its many contributions in the field of homecare.

“As a native of Hattiesburg, I have always been a supporter of Southern Miss,” said Tatum. “My wife, Mary, and I are overwhelmed with the honor of a scholarship established in my name. I believe strongly in the value of education, and know this scholarship will help provide the gift of education to many students.”

Through their gift, South Mississippi Home Health Foundation hopes to benefit current nursing students in need of financial assistance who might otherwise not have the financial resources to stay in school. They also look to make an impact on Southern Miss by potentially keeping these students enrolled in the University and creating a vision for others to give to the School of Nursing.

For more information on the Frederick E. Tatum, M.D. Nursing Annual Scholarship or to make a gift to The School of Nursing at Southern Miss, contact The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation by calling 601.266.5210.