Patton Family Endowment for Nursing Scholarships
Photo: Howard R. Patton, MD and his wife, Marion C. Patton.
“This is a perfect way for us to honor our parents,” said Judy Patton Gustin. “My Dad had a favorite expression, ‘Do the right thing’ and he had a great respect for the nurses at Wayne Memorial. He often commented that they loved their profession, as he loved being a physician. Providing scholarships for others seeking a nursing degree would be, as Dad would say, ‘doing the right thing.’”
Howard Rand Patton, M.D., chief pathologist and director of Laboratory Services at Wayne Memorial Hospital for many years, a former member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees and a longtime member of the Wayne County Medical Society, passed away in January, 2009, at the age of 101. A year later, his children— Judy Gustin, Patricia Robison, Joanne Patton and Howard Patton—contacted Wayne Memorial Health Foundation with a $100,000 donation to set up the endowment.
“Dr. Patton was one of the most remarkable men I’ve ever met,” said G. Richard Garman, executive director of the Foundation. Garman recalled visiting Dr. Patton shortly before he died. “He was listening to a tape to improve his ability to speak and understand German. At 101! He was a lifelong learner, and this scholarship truly honors his and Marion’s memory.”
Garman said that Dr. Patton was one of the last area physicians to make house calls. He did not seem to mind a bit of inconvenience for himself if it answered another’s needs. Many at the hospital today, Garman said, recall Dr. Patton traveling on his days off to his alma mater, Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, to study pathology at his own expense and bring his skills back to Wayne Memorial.
Born in Philadelphia, Howard Patton spent most of his childhood in Altoona. Following graduation from Franklin and Marshall College and then medical school, he opened a private practice in Damascus in 1937. Later, he would have offices in Beach Lake and Honesdale. He closed his practice almost 40 years later and moved to New Jersey. His beloved wife of 59 years, Marion, a former dietitian at the hospital and in area schools, died in 1996.
In 2003, Dr. Patton returned to the place he knew so well—the Honesdale area—to live with his daughter, Judy, and her husband, Darryl.
“My father, with my mother’s support, passionately dedicated his entire professional career to the healthcare needs of Wayne County residents,” commented Joanne Patton. “By supporting this scholarship, I trust that my father’s legacy is enhanced by promoting the professional development of future, quality healthcare professionals for the people of Wayne County.”
The family at first considered a gift of equipment for the hospital’s lab, but quickly dismissed the idea.
“My sisters and I were united in our feelings that Mom and Dad would have wanted the scholarship,” said Howard Patton, “since an investment in people lasts a lifetime, while an investment in a piece of equipment may become obsolete in a matter of years.”
In Patricia’s words, “Both Mother and Dad deeply valued the education process, trusting that an increase and understanding in skills would be gained.”
The Patton scholarship will be used to fund half of the total tuition, laboratory fees and books for the first year of study of the two-year program. Any resident over the age of 18 who is a permanent, full time resident of either Wayne, Pike or Susquehanna counties, Pennsylvania, and who has been accepted into the Wayne Memorial Nursing program is eligible for the award. The awarding itself shall be based upon a combination of the applicant’s financial need and class standing. A recipient of an award will be eligible for a second scholarship at the beginning of their second year in the program if the recipient has achieved and maintained an overall B average or its equivalent in their studies.
Garman also points out that anyone from the community at large may make gifts to the scholarship fund. Back
For more information and an application, contact the Wayne Memorial Health Foundation at (570) 253-8272.