CUMBERLAND — Beth Ann Grayson will highlight her medical work in Sudan when she speaks at the County United Way’s Annual Campaign Kickoff and Community Caring Awards.

The certified nurse anesthetist and medical missionary is the scheduled speaker for the Aug. 27 event at Frostburg State University’s Lane University Center at 6 p.m.

Grayson, 48, was raised in Keyser, W.Va., and graduated from Keyser High School. After attending Potomac State College, she received an associate of arts degree in nursing from Allegany College of Maryland. She then obtained her bachelors of science degree in nursing from West Virginia University, and in 1995, graduated from the Altoona School of Anesthesia for Nurses.

Grayson spent many years working at Sacred Heart Hospital and now services both campuses of the Western Maryland Health System as a registered nurse anesthetist for Cumberland Anesthesia.

From December 1997 to May 2005, Grayson traveled back and forth from Sudan, treating less fortunate families and starting her own medical clinic. During her first year there, Grayson administered anesthesia for the Samaritan’s Purse Hospital in Mundri. She returned to the United States for a two-year leave; during that time, she attended WVU’s School of Tropical Medicine to better her knowledge of African tropical diseases.

She returned to Sudan in 1999 and worked for Frontline Fellowship, based out of Cape Town, South Africa. In 2000, Grayson, along with two co-workers from Frontline Fellowship, started the medical clinic African Worldview. She worked there until she left Sudan in 2005.

Prior to the peace agreement signed Jan. 9, 2005, by Sudan Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement leader John Garang, Sudan was in a constant war zone between Christians and Muslims. Grayson was treating wounded soldiers and civilians, the worst being those who stepped on land mines.

Grayson not only helped medically in Sudan, but supported the women and children whose husbands and fathers were fighting for the People’s Liberation Movement. Every day she read Bible stories and taught Bible verses to the children; she helped the women find jobs; and supplied chickens to families so they could get proper amounts of protein.

She left Sudan in 2005 after a former clinic reopened in the area. She was offered a job with this new clinic, but declined and decided to return to the United States. Grayson now resides in Keyser. In her free time, she enjoys scrap-booking, writing and rescuing cats.

As someone who has spent a majority of her life devoted to serving the needs of others, Grayson supports the efforts of the County United Way to find permanent ways to fix community problems. The County United Way recognizes Grayson as a dedicated and selfless individual, and hopes her story will compel others to donate their time and money to advance the common good in the area’s four counties.

For reservations to the event, contact the County United Way office at (301) 722-2700 or toll-free at (877) 597-2700.

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