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Jami Burnette and Hal Warlick

Jami Burnette and Hal Warlick

Burnette awarded first Betty Warlick Nursing Scholarship

Betty Warlick loved supporting the work of caregivers in Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.

As director of corporate education, she was the face of orientation for hundreds of new associates each year, she encouraged leadership development workshops and continuing education, and she worked with compliance and nursing certification programs.

Warlick also partnered with Spartanburg Regional Foundation to coordinate nursing scholarship funds for undergraduate students and nurses pursuing advanced education.

In late 2019, Warlick’s unexpected passing came as a shock to associates throughout the health system.

Giving back through nursing students

Her legacy lives on in the work of the many caregivers she mentored and encouraged.

And thanks to the Betty Warlick Nursing Scholarship Fund, Spartanburg Regional nurses and the patients they serve will continue to benefit from her commitment to health education.

Warlick’s husband, Hal, established the fund in 2015. The first scholarship was awarded in February to Jami Burnette, a nurse leader in adult critical care.

Burnette had known Warlick throughout much of her career.

“Betty wanted me to check in to see how things were going as I pursued advanced degrees and certificates over the years,” Burnett said. “She was a real supporter. Betty made a huge impact on me.”

Burnette is working on a doctorate of nursing practice degree with a leadership focus from Gardner-Webb University. She received $3,000 to put toward tuition.

“I’m very grateful,” she said.

A nurse at a young age

Burnette’s grandfather first encouraged her to get into nursing. He had gotten a minor cut in his woodworking shop and Burnette, who was 6 years old, helped him with his bandage.

“He told me, ‘You did a great job. You should be a nurse when you grow up,’” she said. “I knew from then on that I wanted to become a nurse.”

Warlick, too, was inspired at a young age to pursue a career in nursing.

As a teen, she spent three weeks in the hospital following a horseback riding accident.

“I’ll never forget the nurses and how good they were to me,” Warlick told the Foundation in 2016.

During her career as a nurse and as a nurse educator, Warlick emulated that sense of kindness and empathy.

“It is very important for a nurse to know the correct procedure,” she said. “But patients also want to know that you care for them. We must have compassion for patients and their families – that is absolutely paramount for having a good healthcare system.”

Burnette reflects this mindset.

“I just love helping people and making a connection,” she said. “If I’m a vessel for helping someone, then that’s where I want to be.”

How to support nurses

The Betty Warlick Nursing Scholarship Fund is among numerous nursing education funds managed and supported by the Spartanburg Regional Foundation.

Shelly Sinclair, a Foundation director of philanthropy, assists the committee that selects recipients of scholarships from these funds. She worked closely with Warlick who, in addition to her leadership role in corporate education, was a generous supporter of the Foundation’s annual employee campaign. At the time of her passing, Warlick was also a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees.

“Betty was such a beloved member of the Spartanburg Regional family, and she was a champion for nursing scholarships and other Foundation efforts that support the work of caregivers,” Sinclair said. “Jami Burnette is a wonderful nurse and team leader, and I know Betty would be proud that Jami is the first recipient of the scholarship named in her honor.”

Learn more about Spartanburg Regional Foundation by visiting https://regionalfoundation.com/.