2010 Joseph G. Sylvester Award Winner Announced


(9/24/10) – The 2010 winner of the Joseph G. Sylvester Award is Heidi Bishop Dumm, R.N., a nurse in the Emergency Department of McLeod Regional Medical Center. She was presented the award during a ceremony at McLeod on September 22. Dumm is the 31st annual recipient of the prestigious nursing award.
A native of Johnsonville, Dumm graduated Cum Laude from Francis Marion University in May of 2009. Her career as a staff nurse in the McLeod Emergency Department began in June of 2009. However, Dumm began working with McLeod in 2006 as a nursing assistant on a medical-surgical floor. This position confirmed her ambition of becoming a nurse. She went on to become a medical-surgical technician. In 2007, Dumm transferred to the Emergency Department which provided her with more insight into the nursing field. The following year after she completed her first year of nursing school she became an Extern III — the McLeod Nurse Extern Program allows nursing students the opportunity to work in the hospital setting while in school. Nurse Externs gain invaluable clinical exposure and experience under the careful guidance of clinically competent, professional McLeod nurses. In this role, Dumm continued to work in the ED as she finished nursing school and passed her boards.

Dumm chose nursing as a career because she enjoys helping people. "I am extremely passionate about making a connection with my patients and showing them that I care about them," explained Dumm. "As a child, I played nurse with my dolls and enjoyed making them feel better by kissing and placing bandages on their scratches. As I grew up, my desire to become a nurse was strengthened through a personal experience with my grandmother. As she went from the intensive care unit to the floor and back to the intensive care unit, I witnessed how the nurses took care of her and made her feel comfortable during her final days. I do not remember everything the nurses said, but I remember the way they made my family and myself feel, which was that our loved one was taken care of. I knew I wanted to be that person for other people and their family members." On her professional goals, Dumm said, "I plan to further my education by obtaining a doctorate degree and becoming a nurse practitioner. It is my goal that I never stop growing and learning as a nurse and as a person." Dumm lives in Johnsonville with her husband, Jamie. She works full time in the McLeod Emergency Department and part time as a substitute nurse at the public schools in Johnsonville. Dumm is also a youth recreational volleyball coach, and a member of Prospect Independent Methodist Church.

The 2010 finalists included Dumm, Robert Garris and Vanessa Baggett Kinney.

The Medical Staff of McLeod Regional Medical Center presents the Joseph G. Sylvester Award annually to a new Registered Nurse who exemplifies high standards of health care and selfless devotion to the nursing profession. The honor includes the presentation of a pin that bears Dr. Sylvester’s name.

Dr. Sylvester’s high standard of medical professionalism represented dedication to the provision of excellence in health care and served as the impetus for the distinguished nursing award that bears his name.

Dr. Sylvester was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1913. A graduate of the Vienna Medical School in 1937, he fulfilled Vienna’s licensure requirements before moving to the United States. After practicing in Chicago for one year, he moved to Florence and began his medical practice at the McLeod Infirmary. In 1950, Dr. Sylvester graduated from Duke University, where he was required to take and pass the surgical boards before he continued his medical studies there. He held active staff privileges at McLeod until 1977, when he joined the honorary staff.

Dr. Sylvester was married to the former Barbara Thornton. He has two daughters, Elsa April and Pamela Barton, and two granddaughters. He died in Florence in 1992 at the age of 79. This award represents his legacy of commitment to the highest standards in medical professionalism.