Published on January 07, 2022

Dalton ‘Grew Up’ at NMMC & Leaves Legacy

Eddie DaltonEddie Dalton retired Jan. 7 after 35 years with North Mississippi Medical Center, but the compassion he showed patients and others continues through Eddie’s Fund, a project he launched in 2014, and the Rehab Family Fund he started in 2021.

Dalton worked as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) at the North Mississippi Medical Center Women’s Hospital for the last decade. “My time at Women’s Hospital has been the best time in my life,” Dalton said. “I love meeting all the new babies.” The admiration is mutual, as many new moms even request a photo of him with their newborn.

Dalton’s career at NMMC started in September 1982 when he became a transporter in the Emergency Department shortly after high school graduation. “I feel like I grew up at NMMC,” he quipped.

In 1984, he became an equipment supervisor for NMMC’s dialysis unit, where he worked until 1989. After a one-year hiatus working in Jackson, Dalton returned to NMMC and worked in Biomedical Services for 10 years.  With the assistance of NMMC scholarships, he earned two associate degrees from Itawamba Community College: one in electronics and one in nursing. Afterward, he earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women.

Dalton left NMMC in 2001 to attend anesthesia school. “NMMC was always so good to work with me, whether it was through scholarships or by adjusting my schedule to accommodate school,” he said. In 2003 he earned his master’s degree in nursing with a focus in anesthesia from the University of Tennessee in Memphis and returned to work at NMMC as a CRNA.

“I have spent my entire adult life here,” Dalton said. “I have enjoyed every position I have worked in and have met many lifelong friends and mentors.”

Dalton inherited his giving nature from his family. “Even though they didn’t have much, they were always sharing their love of food with others,” he said. After his mother, Patricia, passed away in 2000 and sister, Lisa, died in 2009, he talked with his father, Charles, and siblings, Terry and Darla, about ways to honor their memory. After being diagnosed with cancer, Terry died in 2012.

“I kept looking for a need, something meaningful to honor them,” Dalton said. “Working at Women’s Hospital, I often saw people in Café Express put food back because they didn’t have the money to pay for it. We have families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who are there for months, and eating out gets expensive. It was very common to see employees buying meals for people.” Thus came the idea for Eddie’s Fund, which provides meal tickets to family members of patients at Women’s Hospital.

In January 2021, his wife, Lisa, became gravely ill and spent five weeks at NMMC. “Lisa spent three weeks in the Rehabilitation Institute, where I realized those families needed help as well,” Dalton said. Their experience prompted them to launch the Rehab Family Fund, which provides meal tickets to family members with a loved one in the Rehabilitation Institute.

“I am honored that my family and I have left a lasting legacy at NMMC,” Dalton said. “I am confident that both funds have inspired community giving that will last long after my departure.” Both funds are administered through the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi.

Now that Eddie has retired, he plans to spend more time with Lisa and the rest of his family –twin stepdaughters Dana Loden and Kim (Rob) Bucci, and his grandchildren—Mary Dale, Ella, Ethan and Caroline, all of whom live nearby. He also enjoys cooking, playing golf and traveling.

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