Happy Birthday!

The UW School of Nursing wishes Rachael Suggs Pitts a Happy 99th Birthday, which she celebrated on Saturday, June 13, 2020!  An amazing nurse who made amazing contributions for population health!

Ms. Pitts completed her nursing training at Brewster Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, then relocated to Seattle. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a Public Health certificate from the UW School of Nursing in 1956, and then was hired by the Seattle Department of Public Health. Because of her interest in infectious diseases, she went on to the University of Washington’s Department of Epidemiology and International Health, where she contributed her skills and expertise for a multi-year virus infection surveillance research project referred to as the Seattle Virus Watch program.

Ms. Pitts is a founding member of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization. Started in 1949, the organization’s mission is to provide financial aid and scholarships to students of African heritage who pursue studies leading to careers in professional nursing. Members of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization held a “car-a-van” in front of Ms. Pitts’ home giving birthday greetings, waves, cheers, and horn honking while she watched.

For more on this story, see this article published in The Seattle Medium.

Rachel Pitts (right), founding member of Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization, with current President Joycelyn Thomas, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC; alumna of the UW School of Nursing and member of the school’s Advisory Board.


Vivian Lee, alumna of the UW School of Nursing, leads members of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization in a “car-a-van” to honor Rachel Pitts’ 99th birthday on June 13, 2020.