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Verlinda Montoya Posthumously Recognized at Founders Day Distinguished Alumni Awards

In a touching tribute, Verlinda Montoya, BSN’82 MS’90, was posthumously awarded the Founders Day Distinguished Alumni Award. This award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the University of Utah, was accepted on Montoya’s behalf by her family at the Founders Day Celebration on Feb. 28. Each year, the University of Utah Office of Alumni Relations recognizes alumni for outstanding professional achievements, public service and/or commitment to the U. Montoya was selected as a recipient of this award prior to her passing from a year-long fight with cancer. 

For more than 40 years, she committed herself to pair her nursing training with cross cultural healing rituals that enabled her to serve indigenous and underserved populations. Among her many accomplishments, she began and led Heart of Humanity Home Care, which provides culturally appropriate healthcare to the diverse community which it serves.  

In a moving video, recorded before Montoya’s passing and shared at the banquet, Dean of the College of Nursing Marla De Jong, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN, said, “I cannot think of anybody more deserving of this award than Verlinda. She came from such a humble background. She studied nursing here at the University of Utah, and she took what was in her heart and adapted that in new ways that at the time were quite novel.”  

The University of Utah College of Nursing, and the entire U community, is saddened by Montoya’s passing. 

Gabriel Mayberry | Communications Manager, College of Nursing

Mar 08, 2024 11:39 AM