Hampton alumna Deputy U.S. Surgeon General Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams (’87), has been awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal in Washington, D.C.
Presented by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the medal is the highest international recognition a nurse can receive.
“Hampton University was thrilled when we learned that Trent-Adams was named acting surgeon general. This latest award is just the icing on the cake,” Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey said. “She has served her country and alma mater well and we are proud to call her family.”
Trent-Adams is pleased with the opportunity she has had to serve others.
“I am honored and humbled that such a prestigious organization would recognize my work,” Trent-Adams said. “As a nurse, my primary goal is to save lives and ease human suffering. I am grateful for all nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty every day. And, I am grateful for those who went before me, paving the way, so that women like me could have the opportunity to serve in diverse roles and aspire to lead at all levels.”
The medal is awarded to nurses or nursing aides for exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster, according to the ICRC’s website. The medal also recognizes exemplary service or a pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.
“I view Rear Admiral Trent-Adams as the best of the best that Hampton University has had a hand in developing,” said retired Lt. Col. Claude Vann, Hampton University alumnus (’77). “I really do believe if Florence Nightingale were alive today she would be marveling about this sensational leader.”
Trent-Adams was named acting surgeon general April – September this year, replacing Vice Adm. Vivek Murthy.
Trent-Adams is only the second nurse, and the first African-American female nurse to serve as surgeon general.