Husband, wife eager to study nursing with Beacon Health Foundation scholarships


Healthcare team members may not always realize the impact they have on patients, but sometimes the gratitude bubbles up when it’s least expected.

Memorial Hospital nursing assistant Danny Grimes remembers the time a patient stopped by the Intermediate Care Center to say thank you to the team who had cared for him a year earlier following his hospitalization after an accident. The man even took a photo with Danny.

It’s moments like these that inspire Danny and his wife, Emily, also a nursing assistant, to pursue their dreams of becoming nurses.

Danny and Emily are two of 70 Beacon Health System associates who were recently awarded scholarships for nursing or other degrees. The scholarships, totaling more than $270,000 this year, are made possible by generous donors to the Beacon Health Foundation.

Emily, who cares for cancer patients at Memorial, wants to become a nurse who advocates for her patients. She hopes to someday work in maternity care, and possibly in midwifery, after experiencing a difficult pregnancy and appreciating the nursing care she received.

“You definitely connect with people,” Emily said. “Healthcare, to me, is about helping people in their most vulnerable state, at a time when they need someone the most, and I really enjoy being that person. I want to speak up for my patients’ needs and be able to make their voices heard. I want to be a great nurse, one my patients will remember.”

As they continue their education, the Niles couple looks forward to carrying on a tradition that combines a little friendly competition and rewards for work well done. While taking courses for their nursing prerequisites, they placed small wagers on who would earn higher grades. The winner got to pick the movie or meal that night. They plan more wagers this fall as they begin taking nursing courses at Lake Michigan College.

Lauren Nygaard, BSN, RN, manager of the Intermediate Care Center, called the couple’s plans to pursue nursing degrees “fantastic.” Danny now works on her floor and Emily worked there, too, before transferring to the Oncology Unit.

“Both of them care for their patients well,” Lauren said. “They both seem to have a passion for patient care. It will be an exciting journey to be a part of — to see them work through nursing school and to support them.”