Sister Mary Trinita Eddington Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

 Sister Mary Trinita Eddington, MSN, RN, APRN, BC, OP, has been selected as the 2011 Governor’s Initiative for the Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Marsha Meeks Kelly Lifetime Achievement award recipient.

Sister Trinita will be honored at the GIVE awards lunch ceremony held at 11 am on April 11 at the Mississippi Museum of Art for dedicating her life to treating hundreds of low-income and homeless individuals in the Jackson area through the St. Dominic Community Health Clinic. In addition to providing medical care as a nurse practitioner, as clinic director, Sister Trinita is also responsible and accountable for the overall administration, direction and operation of the clinic.

Sister Trinita works four days a week at the clinic which was established in 1996 to provide primary and preventative health care free-of-charge to the medically uninsured, homeless and working poor.

The Clinic provides primary healthcare services, including routine checkups, treatment for acute illnesses, sports or employment physicals and some diagnostic services, including X-rays, lab and others.

In a nomination for Mississippi Nursing Association’s Hall of Fame awards, Sister Mary Dorothea Sondgeroth, OP, President, St. Dominic Health Services, wrote, “Throughout her many years in living her dream as a nurse, Sister Trinita has enhanced the Catholic healing ministry in a myriad of ways. In caring for her countless homeless patients in the clinic, Sister has been likened to Mother Teresa. Her caring hands, loving heart and gentle, humble spirit give hope and comfort to the lonely, disenfranchised, sick and abandoned when they come to the clinic seeking help and wholeness. One of her patients expressed so poignantly the Christian healing ministry embodied in Sister Trinita, ‘When I close my eyes each night, I think of you and see the face of Christ.’”

Sister Trinita’s nursing background began in 1953 when she enrolled in the St. Dominic School of Nursing after making the profession of vows. With this, Sister Trinita began fulfilling her dream to care for the sick. She became a registered nurse in 1957.

Sister Trinita was assigned as a staff nurse at St. Dominic Hospital following her graduation and was promoted to Head Nurse, Assistant Nursing Director, and in 1959, to Nursing Service Administrator. During this time she also received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Administration with a minor in Community Health Nursing from Indiana-Purdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In 1980, Sister Trinita was appointed Vice President at St. Dominic Hospital, assuming administrative responsibilities over the Nursing, Endoscopy, Emergency, Pastoral Services and Social Services departments.

In 1994, Sister Trinita began working in Community Health Services, St. Dominic, Inc. with her involvement in designing and developing a program for a residential Alzheimer’s facility and community health clinic for the uninsured and underserved. At that time, she also pursued post Master degree requirements for Family Nurse Practitioner Certification from Mississippi University for Women.

In addition to working at the clinic, Sister Trinita also works closely with other organizations that provide care to the underserved, including: Stewpot, Inc., Prison Fellowship, Mental Health Association, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Mississippi Department of Health, Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Jackson, Gateway Mission, Salvation Army, and many other local organizations.