WSU honors medical hero Annie Taylor Dee

Kainoa Nunez

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Kami May-Tolentino rushes a training dummy patient into one of the doctor’s offices found in the Marriott Health Science Building’s newly renovated Simulation Center as part of a demonstration of the training the facility provides to students. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

Weber State University has renamed its school of nursing in honor of Annie Taylor Dee, an Ogden philanthropist who was instrumental in expanding health care in the city.

Today the School of Nursing offers three degrees: an associate, bachelor’s, and master’s with a selected focus on administration or education.

Susan Thornock, chair of Annie Taylor Dee School of Nursing, said it was important for them to name the school after an Ogden resident with such a rich history.

“Annie Taylor Dee has been a member of our community and has history in Ogden in the community of nursing in particular,” Thornock said. “She has been an amazing proactive woman in everything that she has done for nursing.”

Annie Taylor Dee faced rough times when her 21-year-old son, Thomas Reese, suffered from appendicitis. During the late 1800’s, there were no facilities for medical treatment of this disease. He died during a makeshift surgery on his mother’s dining table.

Eleven years later, her husband Thomas Dee accidentally slipped into the Ogden River and died of pneumonia shortly after returning home.

Annie honored her loved ones by building the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, and it was built on the corner of Harrison Boulevard and 24th Street in 1910.

“More than 65 years ago, Weber State University’s Annie Taylor Dee School of Nursing opened its doors as part of an innovative program to educate nurses during a time of critical scarcity,” Thornock said. “The program retains its national reputation for excellence and flexibility and continues to provide highly trained nurses who provide quality care in both urban and rural settings around the region, state and nation.”