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Congratulations to Landen Davis who was inducted into Mandarin Chinese School - National Junior Honor Society


Celebrating Black History Month | Texas Nurse Leaders and Legends

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 


By Dr. Laura Kinncheloe


February has been nationally recognized as Black History Month since 1976. When thinking about the many accomplishments of Black people in Texas, we also must recognize the milestones made in our own profession. As we reflect on Texas nursing history, we want to highlight the unique accomplishments of three exceptional nurse leaders and legends: Dr. Mary Holt Ashley, Shirley Finn, and Dr. Joyce Adams.


The following individuals have been recognized in previous years during the Texas Nurses Foundation’s Leaders and Legends event, held every other year during the annual conference.


DR. MARY HOLT-ASHLEY, PHD, RN, CNAA, BC Dr. Mary Holt Ashley, a native of La Marque, Texas, was the former chief nurse executive of the Harris County Hospital District, a multi-health care system. She retired after 37 years with 30 of those years in administration having served in multiple leadership positions. She was also a part time Associate Professor in the graduate nursing program at Prairie View A&M University. She was past president of the board for The Community Artists Collective and is currently a board member. She earned a Doctorate in Nursing Administration from Texas Woman’s University, being the first person to graduate from the Houston Program.


She is actively involved in professional, community and church organizations. Serving in leadership roles such as President, Vice President or Officer in many major organizations such as Texas Nurses Association, American Nurses Association and Eta Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau at the local, state, and national levels has been a continuous process. She has served as the vice president of the North Forest Independent School District Board of Trustees. Dr. Ashley has received many rewards for leadership and exemplary performance throughout her career such as Health Care Executive of the year, Nurse of the Year, Excellence in Writing Award, one of the ten Women on the Move, recognized for professional achievements by Women of Achievement and other health care organizations. She was honored as an outstanding alumnus of Alvin Junior College in 1999 and Texas Woman’s University in 2000. In 2006 she received Best Nurse Leader of the Year sponsored by Advance Nursing and the Super Achiever Minority award given by the YMCAs of America. In 2007, she received the president’s award from Texas Nurses Association and the “Woman of the Year Award on May 5, 2007 from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. On Saturday April 5, 2008 she received the Pioneer in the Community Award from the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary.


In November 2016 she was honored by the Texas Nurses Association for having created the premier Nursing Celebration which is a yearly event that honors outstanding nurses throughout Houston for the last 25 years. She received the Living Legend Award from the Fort Bend County Black Nurses Association April 23, 2016. Dr. Ashley has published articles in several professional journals and is the author of the book “Leaders Get UP Off the Canvas”. She has spoken at seminars locally regional and national on leadership topics and has been the keynote speaker at many schools of nursing capping ceremonies, and community banquets. Dr. Ashley has been the keynote speaker for the Fort Bend County BNA Local NBNA Day for 10 years. Dr. Ashley has also lectured at the NBNA Closing Session, NBNA Founders Leadership Institute, Galveston Black Nurses Association, Metroplex (Dallas) Black Nurses Association and Southeast Texas Black Nurses Association. She serves as a Deacon, Chair of the board of trustees and past president of the church council at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ. Dr. Ashley is an avid Scrabble player, plays bridge and is married to Ellis Charles Ashley, Sr. They have one son, a daughter-in-law and a grandson.

Women's Emphasis Month

Pilgrim Sisters United had a fantastic Women's Emphasis Month in May. The month was filled with laughter, tears, reconnection, and sisterhood as the women assessed their relationships with Christ through this year's theme: TransformHER. Through Bible study, worship, beautiful messages from powerful leaders, and fellowship Pilgrim Sisters United was able to bring a little light and love to Blodgett with the love of God.

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