March 21, 2020 - Coronavirus claims UMSL online student known for excellence in nursing

Dear UMSL Community,

I write to you today with a heavy heart to share that our University of Missouri–St. Louis community has experienced its first loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Late yesterday evening, St. Louis County health officials confirmed that Judy Wilson-Griffin, a nurse at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and an online doctoral student in our nursing program, passed away from the coronavirus.

Though Judy has not taken classes on campus, her presence has been felt throughout the College of Nursing and UMSL since beginning her studies in the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Judy worked with both empathy and respect as a clinical nurse specialist at SSM Health, and shared a passion for health care and continuing education. At UMSL, she excelled as a student, and we celebrated with her this past fall as she was named Nurse of the Year in the Women’s Health category from the March of Dimes. And, just this week, we hoped to again celebrate with Judy as she successfully defended her Doctor of Nursing Practice project proposal.

In a statement, her hospital family wrote, “Our hearts break for her family and friends and we will keep them in our prayers as we cope with the loss of our cherished colleague and friend. One of our physicians put it best; 'Judy was an incredible nurse, educator, leader and person. Her passion and dedication was second to none. She was a hero in the truest sense.’”

Our UMSL family too mourns the loss of one of our fellow Tritons and stands with Judy’s family and loved ones in grief.


Kristin Sobolik
Interim Chancellor and Provost