Alyce loved to help. Whether it was assisting on her Father’s cattle ranch or caring for her seven brothers and sisters, Alyce felt she was put on this Earth to serve others. It’s only natural then, that after her passing, Alyce is still making a difference in the lives of others. Thanks to the generosity of Alyce five SCH nurses working toward their advanced degrees have been awarded an Alyce B. Chrystall Scholarship to help defray their education costs.
As a little girl growing up on a large cattle ranch in Nebraska, Alyce was known as the caring one of the family; she would often tend to sick animals or help her parents care for her seven siblings. According to Karin, it was Alyce’s nurturing nature that prompted her older brother to pay for her to attend nursing school in Minnesota when she was only 18 years old. Alone and determined, Alyce graduated from the Swedish Hospital School of Nursing with the dream of serving others and helping those in need.
Nursing was Alyce’s calling, which inspired her career and volunteer choices throughout her life. Over her 40-year career, she practiced clinical and surgical nursing, worked as I.V. Therapist, an Industrial Nurse, and Personal Secretary, opened an Employee Health Clinic and worked for the Visiting Nurses Association. She retired from the nursing field at age 65, but stayed active by volunteering her time and energy to faith-based, service and social organizations well into her 80’s.
It was Alyce’s mission to serve and care for people. Karin recounts that Alyce, “…was led by her faith and walked in in great humility and unconditional love for everyone she met. She found the good in all things.” As an act of her lasting generosity and compassion, Karin continued Alyce’s legacy of excellence in nursing and service by establishing the Alyce B. Chrystall Scholarship at Swedish Covenant Health. Karin was impressed with SCH’s active Nurse Alumnae Association and their strong commitment to nursing education scholarships, our continued support of staff professional development, and our affiliation with North Park University’s School of Nursing. As Karin explains, “Nursing was the heart of Alyce; it defined her. Creating scholarships to help others become nurses was what Alyce would have wanted. I knew SCH was the place.”
The 5 winners of the Alyce B. Chrystall Scholarship are: Colleen Jennings, OB Charge Nurse, Sommar Johnson, RN, BSN, CCRN , Dane Ligas, BSN, Bianca Pirvu, BSN and Gerelmaa Budmandakh, MSN
To the recipients of Alyce’s generosity, the scholarships are life-changing. According to Sommar Johnson, “This has changed my life and decreased my financial stress. Now I can focus more on school and work. I hope to one day give back and provide someone with the same opportunity I was given.” Colleen Jennings agrees. Feeling humbled and honored to be a recipient, she notes that “this scholarship will allow me to finish my BSN. It has been a long process due to financial reasons and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity. I hope to make Alyce Chrystall proud.” Karin awarded the scholarships during a ceremony in May, at which time she commented that it was Alyce’s wish to make a lasting impact on the nursing profession. Her generous act of assisting five nurses obtain advanced degrees and certifications will better the healthcare of thousands of future patients. For more information on ways to support the scholarship program at SCH, please contact the Foundation at: foundation@SwedishCovenant.org or (773) 293-5121