SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The 17th annual Eileen Austin Neal RN Memorial Scholarship for Nursing of $1,000 was awarded to Grace Wilkinson of Bellows Falls, Vt. to attend Endicott College. “Growing up, my great-grandmother would tell stories of her time as a nurse,” states Grace. “I was intrigued by these stories and decided to pursue a career in nursing. She inspired me to follow in her footsteps.”
Eileen Austin Neal was a registered nurse at Springfield Hospital for 64 years, retiring in 2005. She was the first recipient of the Hospital’s George F. Leland Community Health Award in 2003. In 2004, the Hospital established the Eileen Austin Neal Spirit of Nursing Award, given to a staff nurse, in recognition of her many years of dedicated service.
Upon her death in February 2006, at the request of Eileen’s family, Springfield Hospital established the nursing scholarship fund in her name with gifts received in her memory from Eileen’s family as well as from community members.
“As part of the Austin family, we congratulate Grace and wish her good luck with her education,” says Robert Austin of Springfield, Vt., son of Eileen Austin Neal.
“For seventeen years, the family and friends of Eileen have been very generous in supporting this scholarship and are proud to keep the memory of Eileen alive in this way. Supporting the education of our young people is essential and Springfield Hospital is honored to be a part of awarding this scholarship,” says Robert Adcock, CEO of Springfield Hospital.