Pitt County


Learn more about the history of nursing in Pitt County


Article about Sandy Walton, RN and therapist from AHEC.

See Eugene Russell Tranbarger in the biographies section of this website.

    Sue Anne Fipps of Winterville -

    As an educational nurse specialist at Vidant Medical Center, Fipps fosters the growth and development of the Vidant Children's Hospital staff through education, orientation and evidence-based research. Fipps earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from East Carolina University and her master's degree in nursing from Walden University in Minneapolis. She joined Vidant Medical Center in 1997, serving as a staff nurse on the pediatric unit, and continues her work with outreach and community-based activities.

Susan Redding— Redding currently coordinates the palliative care consultation services at Vidant Medical Center. She's been with the hospital for 17 years where she started as a contracted hospital employee hired to help develop an adult day health program in Greenville. She received her bachelor's degree from St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, MD. She went on to achieve her master's in nursing from East Carolina University. Redding is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. She is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner.


Chandra Speight-Rahilly— (2013) Speight-Rahilly has worked at Vidant Medical Center for three years where she currently serves as a quality nurse specialist for the department of patient safety. She earned master's degrees in English and political science before completing phase one of ECU’s alternate entry Master of Science in Nursing Program. She is currently enrolled in ECU's Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Speight-Rahilly serves a senior editor of Evolving Perspectives Patient Care Journal. She was awarded a Mary Lewis Wyche Fellowship by the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing (2013), the Robin and Ray Corbett Scholarship (2013), and the Roccapriore-Tschetter Fellowship (2012). She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, Golden Key National Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi. Speight-Rahilly is a certified medical surgical nurse and certified in advanced cardiac life support.


Sylvia M. James of Greenville-James currently serves as an educational nurse specialist at Vidant Children's Hospital, in addition to serving as an nursing assistant instructor at Pitt Community College. She earned her associate's degree in nursing from Pitt Community College and her bachelor's degree from Mount Olive College. James has been a nurse at Vidant Medical Center since 1985. She is a certified trainer in basic life support, pediatric advanced life support and neonatal resuscitation



    Deborah L. McClain of Greenville -

    As a staff development assistant, McClain helps with ongoing education needs of nursing staff in the women's department at Vidant Medical Center. McClain joined Vidant Medical Center in 1993 as a registered nurse, working with patients and families during labor and delivery of newborns. Prior to moving to Greenville, she earned the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force, serving in California, South Dakota and Texas. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing at the University of Vermont. She is certified as an inpatient obstetrics nurse and in fetal monitoring and teaches fetal monitoring and neonatal resuscitation.

Health Care Institutions

Pitt Memorial Hospital/Pitt Community Hospital:

  • In the Oct 1935 issue of "Southern Hospital" an item of interest reads:  "Pitt County may purchase Pitt General Hospital, Greenville, with profits from the county liquor stores.  This income is not in the county budgets and could not be used to better advantages or for a better purpose."
  • "The Pitt Community Hospital has recently been completed and has 42 beds and all modern equipment throughout. There are both white and colored departments. A new nurses' home adjoins it. The staff includes 12 physicians and 3 graduate nurses. The Hospital has a capital of $80,000"                                                                             From  Albert Y Drummond's 1924  Pictorial Atlas of North Carolina. (This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.)
  • Archives about the commemoration " A Place in History, Pitt County Memorial Hospital 50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue" found in the  East Carolina University (ECU) Special Collections in Joyner Library on the ECU campus.
  • Blackburn, M. (2001).  Inspired by progress:  a celebration of Pitt County Memorial Hospital's 50th anniversary.  Greenville, NC:  Pitt County Memorial Hospital.
  • Williams, W. C. (2001). PCMH - A Tradition of Excellence. Greenville, North Carolina: Barefoot Press
  • Pitt Memorial Hospital School of Nursing history on WIKIPEDIA.
  • Oral histories conducted in 2000 with several retired Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) nurses in honor of PCMH's 50th anniversary. (Nursing Group / Pitt County Memorial Hospital) {box 9.28}are found in Joyner Library Special Collections at East Carolina University.
  • The March 7, 1924 issue of the Greenville, NC  "Daily Reflector"  has information about the "first graduating class of the nurses training school of the Pitt Community Hospital".
  • The May 16, 1931 issue of the Greenville, NC "Daily Reflector" has information about a graduating nursing class at Pitt Community Hospital who completed a 3 year course.

From Roger Kammerer's "Pitt's Past" Column  -  February 5-18, 1986
"A History of the First Pitt County Hospital" (picture available) Dr. Charles O'Hagan Laughinghouse, Dr. Karl B. Pace, and Dr. M.T. Edgerton tried to start a hospital in 1916 by advocating a bond issue for funds. This effort failed. In 1923, Dr. Laughinghouse, Dr. Pace, Dr. E.T. Dickerson, and Dr. W.I. Wooten all mortgaged their property and borrowed money so they could build their own hospital. Their sacrifices paid off when they raised enough money to build a forty-two room private hospital. It opened on April 24, 1924, on Johnston Street in College View, with two full-time doctors. A nursing school operated there from 1923 until 1932. After the dire need arose for a facility for African Americans, the hospital officials renovated the basement to serve twelve to fifteen black patients. A children's wing was built during 1933 and 1934. The hospital was closed in 1951 after serving 42, 216 patients.

  • Archives about the nursing program at East Carolina University can be found in East Carolina University  Library Special Collections under "Nursing"
  • RG: CH1050 Series: 1 Box: 1 Folder: 19 Dates: 1960-1968
  • RG: CH1050 Series: 2 Box: 8 Folder: 7 Dates: 1968-1986

Information about the College of Nursing at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC

  • History of the College of Nursing at East Carolina University
  • Digital Photographs and oral histories related to the nursing program at East Carolina University are found in the Special Collections at Joyner Library on the East Carolina University campus.
  • 50th anniversary historical information

Information about St. Frances Hospital for Colored People in  Greenville, North Carolina:

  • A "Daily Reflector" article from October 22, 1923 stated that a hospital was being run in the home of "Frances Hopkins, the colored nurse."   
  • The August 25, 1924 "Daily Reflector" stated that "Frances Hopkins, a graduate nurse of reliability and experience," has leased a building. "The hospital will begin operation in September the first with two graduates and a few class nurses who are making application to the training school."
  • The August 16, 1939 "Daily Reflector" refers to a "Negro ward" that had been built at Pitt General Hospital.

Information about Public Health Nursing in Pitt County

  • An interview of Public Health Nurse Mary King Kneedler was conducted by Nurse Jane Plyler for her Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Thesis in 1980.  Plylers' Masters Thesis and the original recordings can be found in the Southern Collection in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The recording have been digitized and are on the Oral History section of this website.
  • The cover photograph of the Feb 1940 Health Bulletin is a picture of staff and patients at the Greenville, NC Maternity and Infancy Center.

 Resources about nursing in Pitt County and resources housed at East Carolina University

  • Greeneville City Directory Listings of Nurses 1916
  • East Carolina University  sponsors monthly programs related to the history of medicine, nursing and other health related topics.  The programs since 2004 have been archived on this website.
  • Digital Health and Medicine photograph collection (with many images of nurses)  from East Carolina University's Joyner Library.
  • Midwifery Being Taught, Practiced Here (newspaper article PDF)


 Information about the 1918 Spanish Flu influenza in Pitt County.

Because whole families were stricken and there was no hospital, on October 17 the Red Cross opened an emergency hospital in the county courthouse. The hospital opened with seven patients and the nurses the first night were Miss Maude Lee and Mrs. Marletta Dixon. On October 18, a soup kitchen was opened in the Greenville High School under the supervision of Miss Clara Carroll and Mrs. Travis Hooker, and assisted by the high school domestic science students. The first day they carried soup and broth to seventy black and white sufferers all over town