Distinguished Alumni Awards


Distinguished Service Award

Joy Bernice Ogle Whaley (53H)

Bernice WhaleyJoy Bernice Ogle Whaley (53H), is a retired nurse and volunteer with over 50 years of service to public health in Georgia and beyond. After graduating a valedictorian from The Martha Berry School for Girls, Whaley earned a nursing diploma from the Georgia Baptist School of Nursing in Atlanta, a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Southern College in Collegedale, Tenn., and a Master of Science in nursing administration and adult health from Andrews University on the campus of Southern Adventist College in Berrian Springs, Mich. Her career has included work at hospitals in Georgia and Tennessee and the Whitfield County (Ga.) Health Department, where she was lead public health nurse, women’s health nurse practitioner and nurse manager before her retirement in 1999. Her volunteer activities include work with the North Georgia Medical Reserve Corps and the Dalton Teen Resource Center. She has also served as an advocate for children and families in Whitfield County Juvenile Court and worked with Georgia’s Public Health Nurse Credentialing Committee to establish career ladders and job descriptions which were subsequently adopted by Georgia’s Department of Public Health nursing section.

In 2001, she was recognized by Governor Roy Barnes for 41 years of faithful service to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Additionally, the Whitfield County Health Center was renamed the Whaley Health Center in 2004 in recognition for her and her husband’s service to healthcare in the county, and in 2006 she earned the Distinguished Service Award from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University in Atlanta. She is also chair for the American Legion Auxiliary’s Nurses Scholarship, which supports a student at Dalton College each year. As a member of Berry’s Carpet Capitol Alumni Chapter she works on Make a Difference Day each year to supply groceries for community needs. She is a volunteer with the Whitfield County Health Department, working with immunization recall and with special flu clinics.