New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation receives major gift to support nursing education

July 29, 2021

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) Foundation has received a generous gift for Novant Health’s Upward Mobility RN Scholarship from Dan Saklad in memory of his wife, Sheila. This gift will provide scholarships for Novant Health and NHRMC team members who want to attend Cape Fear Community College’s nursing program to become a registered nurse.

The Dan and Sheila Saklad Foundation made a two-year commitment, starting in August 2022, to give a total of $400,000 through the NHRMC Foundation and the Cape Fear Community College Foundation ($350,000 to the NHRMC Foundation and $50,000 to the Cape Fear Community College Foundation).

“No words can express our feelings of appreciation and gratitude,” said Schorr Davis, executive director of the NHRMC Foundation. “Dan and Sheila’s passion for education will impact generations to come.”

Through the Upward Mobility RN Scholarship, employees receive up to two years of full tuition coverage for their licensing program; a flexible reduced schedule at the same rate of pay and benefits in order to dedicate time to their studies; and monthly meetings with a nurse mentor and career coach.

“This heartfelt and gracious gift will allow individuals the opportunity to make their dreams a reality,” said Amy Akers, chief nurse executive for NHRMC. “At the same time, entering the nursing profession will provide them a way to give back to their community.”

This gift honors the memory of Sheila Saklad, Dan’s wife of 54 years, who died from complications of multiple myeloma in August 2020. Sheila was a nurse herself, earning her degree at the Columbia School of Nursing in New York City.

“Giving back to our community is how we were raised,” Dan said. “Sheila had a multigenerational connection to nursing and hospitals. She was a nurse, as were her mother and grandmother. I have been extremely impressed with the nurses at NHRMC, particularly the Zimmer Cancer Center.”

The Saklads have a long history of generosity through NHRMC, including an oncology education endowment for nurses and staff at the NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center, established in 2012.

For more information on ways to support NHRMC through the NHRMC Foundation, visit or call 910.667.5002.