Gaithersburg-Based Adventist HealthCare Provides $60,000 Scholarships to Four D.C. Area Nursing Students

Gaithersburg-based Adventist HealthCare has presented four exceptional D.C. area nursing students with 2023 Lucy Byard Scholarships totaling $60,000. Adventist HealthCare launched the scholarship in 2022 to honor Lucy Byard and to help address economic, educational, and healthcare disparities. The 2023 Lucy Byard Scholarship recipients are:

  • Cameca Anderson, Washington Adventist University
  • Victoria Ofori, Howard University
  • Tianna Lawrence, Howard University
  • Junior Philogene, Washington Adventist University

All four students have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve their dream of helping others and giving back to their communities through a career in healthcare. The Lucy Byard Scholarship will help ease the financial burden on the students as they complete their nursing training. After successfully completing their studies and passing a licensing exam, Adventist HealthCare offers the scholars the opportunity to join its caregiving team.

Cameca Anderson is a single mother of two and a first-generation college student with a passion for helping people. The untimely death of her uncle and her work at a nursing home in high school fueled her passion.

Victoria Ofori is a first-generation college student who developed a love for healthcare through volunteer work while growing up in Ghana and later in the U.S. At 5 years old, she witnessed the car crash that killed her father and the struggles her mother experienced raising five children. “I want to be a nurse because I believe in harnessing the integrated power of research, education, advocacy and outreach to improve the human condition,” she said.

Nursing students Tianna Lawrence and Junior Philogene are second-time recipients of the scholarship. They will complete the requirements of their nursing degrees over the coming year, making them eligible to step into full-time positions once they pass the nursing board exam.

Acknowledging the Past, Forging a Better Tomorrow: The scholarship honors Lucy Byard, a devout Seventh-day Adventist. In 1943, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and medical treatment from the Washington Sanitarium in Takoma Park, Maryland, where she could be cared for by people who shared her faith. Because she was black, Ms. Byard was denied care and transferred to Freeman Hospital, now Howard University Hospital. She died there a few weeks later.

While not able to turn back the clock, Adventist HealthCare was determined to acknowledge the wrong and move affirmatively forward.  In addition to establishing the scholarship, Adventist HealthCare also commissioned a portrait of Ms. Byard for the lobby of its White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring as a reminder of her legacy and the health system’s commitment to compassionate healthcare.

Adventist HealthCare is establishing an endowment through philanthropic gifts to ensure its continued ability to award future Lucy Byard Scholarships. To learn more about the scholarship or donate, visit

Adventist HealthCare is one of the longest-serving health systems in the Washington, D.C., region, and one of the largest employers in Maryland. It includes Shady Grove Medical Center, White Oak Medical Center, Fort Washington Medical Center, Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation, Home Care Services, Adventist Medical Group and Imaging. Our mission is to extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.

Recent Stories

The DMV has been buzzing since Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce visited The Hall CP in College Park, MD, and ordered a “Triple Pep Pizza” according to a…

More MCPS students in kindergarten through second grade are meeting or exceeding reading benchmarks this fall, according to the latest state assessments.

The Montgomery County Police Department recently launched its Drone as First Responder (DFR) Pilot Program to provide air support to 911 or police generated calls for service in a safe,…

Ms. Anita O’Neill has been named acting principal at Clarksburg High School, effective January 1st. She will be taking over for Mr. Edward Owusu, who announced his upcoming retirement last…


Subscribe to our mailing list