College of Nursing’s Schmidt Honored by Red Cross
Responding to fires, tornadoes, ice storms and hurricanes, Cheryl Schmidt, Ph.D., R.N., is going to leave quite a legacy behind.
Schmidt, associate professor in the UAMS College of Nursing, who will retire in May after 21 years of teaching at UAMS, was honored March 17 by the American Red Cross in Arkansas for her dedicated service.
“I was really honored, but the biggest honor would be that more nurses would sign up to carry on my work in the Red Cross,” said Schmidt, who is moving to be closer to family in Phoenix, Arizona. “My dream is that my students graduate and volunteer in Red Cross disaster relief.”
Roger Elliot, American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas’ immediate past state disaster officer ; Candy Carey, its executive director; and Patricia Fry, its state disaster manager, surprised Schmidt with a Red Cross award while she was teaching nursing students disaster relief skills.
“Cheryl has provided an amazing volunteer service to the American Red Cross for over 40 years, and we’re going to miss her terribly,” Carey said.
Schmidt began volunteering with the Red Cross in 1974, teaching CPR courses to the local chapter in Michigan. She became involved in Red Cross disaster services in Little Rock in1999 when American Airlines Flight 1420 crash landed at the Little Rock Airport. She was recommended to assist in that disaster because of her 20 years’ experience with military training as an assistant chief nurse in the U.S. Army and serving in the Army Nurse Corp Reserves.
She has trained more than 1,000 nurses and physicians on how to work in Red Cross Shelters and Service Centers while coordinating with county, state and federal relief organizations.
In 2011, Schmidt was one of four in the United States to be awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal, the International Committee of the Red Cross’ highest honor. Other awards she has received include the regional Ann Magnuson Award and the Chapter’s Clara Barton Volunteer Leadership Award.