Feature Stories 2024: Honoring a sister, friend, and caregiver

CNHS alumna
No one could resist a smile whenever Dumas (pictured above) was in the room, especially her sister, Suzanne.
Feature Stories 2024: Honoring a sister, friend, and caregiver
Honoring a sister, friend, and caregiver

Suzanne Rodrigues establishes a lasting legacy for her sister with a planned gift to UMass Dartmouth.

A bus ride to Boston with their mother was how sisters Paulette Dumas and Suzanne Rodrigues spent many childhood days. Paulette was afflicted with a host of health issues at a very young age which required frequent visits to Boston to meet with her healthcare team. Suzanne witnessed how sick Paulette was throughout her life and stuck by her side as she endured surgery after surgery. Even after her fist kidney transplant, Paulette always had a great attitude and outlook on life. It was quite impressive how she maintained positivity when times were difficult.

Paulette had tremendous respect for the healthcare providers that cared for her with such compassion. So much so, she decided that working in the medical field would be her vocation. In 1988, Paulette earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UMass Dartmouth. She didn’t stop there. In 1996, she returned to complete her master’s degree in nursing. Reaching her goal as a nurse practitioner, she joined New Bedford Medical Associates where she worked for many years.

Paulette was an amazing nurse practitioner. She was an empathic and compassionate caregiver. She had a kind heart, wonderful sense of humor, and was a giving soul, who was loved and respected by her patients and colleagues alike. Sadly, after her second kidney transplant, she succumbed to her health challenges. Friends and colleagues gathered for many years on her birthday to reminisce and honor her memory.

Paulette never forgot her years as a patient herself. She never forgot her time at UMass Dartmouth. She was very appreciative of everyone at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She was proud to claim UMass Dartmouth as her alma mater.

In her sister’s memory, Suzanne established the Paulette L. Dumas College of Nursing and Health Sciences Endowment Fund. The fund will provide financial assistance to future healthcare professionals who study at UMass Dartmouth. There is no better way to remember Paulette than to give back to students with similar academic and career goals.

In establishing this gift, Paulette will have a lasting legacy at UMass Dartmouth, ensuring that aspiring medical leaders continue to flourish and make an impact in the community and beyond.