By Meredith Bailess
JACKSON – Sister Mary Trinita Eddington, OP, MSN, RN, FNP, of St. Dominic’s was recently honored with the 2023 DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award.
“St. Dominic’s and our nursing team nominated Sister Trinita to honor and celebrate her remarkable contributions and leadership over many decades,” said Tracey Smithson, chief nursing officer at St. Dominic Hospital. “Her unwavering commitment and dedication have made an irreplaceable mark on our healthcare teams and community.”
The DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award was created by the DAISY Foundation to recognize nurses across the globe who have devoted their lives to the compassionate care of others. Recipients of this award are recognized for their dedication to nursing through outstanding and transformational leadership, active mentoring, role modeling, advocating for patients and enhanced patient experience and promoting a positive image of nursing.
“This recognition means so much to me because I feel like it is my cohorts, my St. Dominic’s nurses, who brought this about,” shared Sister Trinita. “That’s what makes this so special.”
Carol Marie Eddington, better known to most as Sister Trinita, took her vows as a Springfield Dominican Sister when she was 18 years old. Little did she know that those vows would lead her on a journey that would touch so many lives here in Jackson.
After spending time assigned to the pharmacy, Sister Trinita began her journey to become a nurse. A little over two years later, she received her first nursing degree and started out as a staff nurse until advancing to the positions of head nurse, assistant nursing director, nursing services administrator, and eventually vice president. During that time, Sister Trinita went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in nursing and later a master’s degree in nursing administration with a minor in community health nursing.
When she stepped down from her vice president role in the early 1990’s, she was just getting started. She then began her work on opening St. Dominic’s Community Health Clinic. Through close ties with Stewpot Community Services and the Central Urban Ministry Center, the St. Dominic Community Clinic was established in 1996 to serve those who cannot afford basic medical care. The clinic provides healthcare services free of charge for the medically underserved in Jackson.
During that time, she was not only planning and starting the community clinic, but she was also studying to become a nurse practitioner and designing a program for a residential Alzheimer’s facility at St. Catherine’s Village.
Although Sister Trinita has “semi-retired” from her nurse practitioner practice and role at the clinic, she continues serving the St. Dominic’s ministry and Jackson community as a nurse and leader. There are not enough words to convey how thankful we are for her unwavering support of St. Dominic’s, the Jackson communities, and the nursing profession.
(Meredith Bailess is the senior director of marketing and communications for St. Dominic Hospital/Franciscan Missionairies of Our Lady Health System.)