During her 60 years with Maryknoll, Sister Elizabeth "Betty"Burns has been a nurse and medical administrator in the United States, even being recognized for her efforts by the Connecticut State Health Department.

Born in Hartford, CT, Sister Betty graduated from St, Francis School of Nursing, Hartford, as an R.N. before entering Maryknoll in 1955.

Sister Betty received her first foreign assignment of Pusan, Korea, in 1959, after working at Maryknoll for several years. Following eight years of service in Korea at Maryknoll Hospital and pronouncing her Final vows in 1964, she returned to the U.S. to further her medical education at Boston College. In 1970 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing before also completing a Master of Science in Community Health Nursing in 1972.

Due to her study of health care system and close work with patients, her health care philosophy is simple and effective "I start out every morning hoping that what I do will bring some joy in an elderly person." she says.

To continue her ministry, she decided to dedicate herself to the northeastern U.S., in part due to her continued care for her ailing father. Beginning at this time, she held a variety of positions within the medical profession. In 1973, she served as a hospital inspector and consultant for the Connecticut State health Department. Her work with this organization grew throughout the years, including positions as Chief of Licensure and Certification of Medical Facilities and Director of Hospital and Medical Care. Ultimately she became the Chief of Staff of the health department, which she held until her retirement in 1999. During her time with the department, she worked to improve the living conditions and health care provided by medical institutions and home care services.

Sister Betty has spent part of her retirement caring for her mother and another ailing sister and  close friend Pauline Gibbons. After their deaths, she continued to live in Wethersfield.