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Julia Minno
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
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New Pitt Nursing Scholarship to Commemorate Life of Lieutenant Colonel Julia Minno

Julia Minno PHOTO

For the late Pitt alumna Lieutenant Colonel Julia Minno, nursing was as much a calling as a career. To truly be a nurse, she contended, one always should be ready to extend a helping hand, even beyond the call of duty.

“My sister realized nurses were asked to do extra things, often at odd hours and in unusual circumstances,” said Alexander M. Minno, M.D., a 1947 graduate of the
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who practiced internal medicine and rheumatology for 53 years before retiring in July 2000. “No matter how many times she was asked to help, Julia never failed to respond. As a result of her tireless
dedication and compassion, she helped touch and enrich countless lives around the world.”

In honor of Julia Minno’s inspiring life and career, Alexander Minno and his wife, Frances, have donated $108,000 to the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing to endow an undergraduate scholarship fund. Starting next fall, this scholarship will be awarded each year to one undergraduate student from Western Pennsylvania.

A native of Conemaugh, Julia Minno received her degree in nursing from Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johns-town. She later earned a B.S. degree in Nursing Education (’49) and a M.Litt. degree in Nursing Education (’53)
from Pitt.

She started her nursing career at Cresson Sanatorium, then went on to work for the American Red Cross, Community Nursing Service, the National Foundation for Prevention of Infantile Paralysis, the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Aspinwall, before joining the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1954.

During her 17-year military career, she served at Fort Dix in New Jersey and Fort Belvoir in Virginia, and had duty tours in France, Japan, West Germany, and Ethiopia.

Alexander Minno said his sister not only provided care for American troops stationed abroad, but she also ministered to the needs of foreign citizens.

“Julia ran a general clinic in Ethiopia, helping to introduce preventative medicine to that country,” he recalled. “Among her many accomplishments as a nurse in Ethiopia, she gave immunizations and provided healthcare education. She would
stay at the clinic for extended hours to accommodate a patient’s schedule.”

He added that Julia Minno was more than just a nurse to her patients — she was also a friend.

“As was so characteristic of her, Julia formed an emotional bond with many of her patients,” he said. “She became a godparent to at least 100 Ethiopians and organized several drives to gather clothing and food for needy people in that
country.”

Julia Minno died on September 3, 1987, and was laid to rest with full military honors in the nurses’ section of Arlington National Cemetery. Her brother said this scholarship will be a fitting tribute to a truly caring and compassionate nurse who was a strong role model for many other nurses.

“I think my sister would be honored that a scholarship has been created in her name which will benefit future nurses,” Alexander Minno said. “Julia believed that learning to do what you enjoy will last for a lifetime.”


Posted: 30 June 2002 Updated: 24 April 2007