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Assisi Foundation makes gift to ASU College of Nursing and Health Professions

April 11, 2008 -- Arkansas State University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has received a gift that will support the registered nursing programs it conducts at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Ark.

The $200,000 gift, received from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Tenn., Inc., will be used in support of an endowed professorship in nursing, according to Dr. Susan Hanrahan, ASU dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

“The Assisi Foundation has recognized, through its gift, what can be accomplished through partnerships like this one between Arkansas State University and Mid-South Community College,” said Dr. Les Wyatt, ASU System president. “The ASU System and eastern Arkansas will see positive results from this collaboration."

“We began a nursing program at MSCC three years ago at the college’s request,” Hanrahan noted. “MSCC had received funds from the Assisi Foundation to support an associate degree in nursing in West Memphis and asked ASU to provide the program through a partnership agreement."

“I am delighted to see further investment by the Assisi Foundation on behalf of our partnership,” said Dr. Barbara Baxter, MSCC executive vice president. “Nursing is one of our more popular programs and it is certainly changing lives—through improved employment opportunities and through improved healthcare resources in our area.”

“Nursing and health-related careers are in high demand as the baby boomer generation ages,” said Dr. Robert Potts, ASU-Jonesboro chancellor. “The Assisi Foundation recognized this growing need and responded by supporting what we are trying to accomplish at Arkansas State. We are thankful for their investment in Arkansas healthcare and in Arkansas higher education.”

Hanrahan said there is a national shortage of healthcare professionals, which includes nurses. She said eastern Arkansas is a part of the state that is not only medically underserved, but is also designated as a healthcare professionals-shortage area.

“One of our college goals has been to increase the number of nursing and health professional graduates each year to assist in reducing this shortage,” Hanrahan explained. “The College of Nursing and Health Professions has increased program enrollment by 78 percent since 2002, and it graduates almost 500 nurses and healthcare professionals each year.”

“Our work is paying off in West Memphis. Three years ago, our program admitted 16 students at MSCC,” she said. “Currently the program is admitting 32 students each year. This gift from the Assisi Foundation will give our West Memphis nursing program a significant boost in our ability to continue to grow its operation. We are thankful the Assisi Foundation recognizes the existing need for quality healthcare workers.”

“This gift from the Assisi Foundation will help ASU meet the growing demand for our nursing programs in West Memphis,” said Dr. Sue McLarry, chair of the ASU Department of Nursing.

“The Assisi Foundation’s gift will provide the opportunity to advance toward our long-term goals and better serve the nursing program, our faculty and students, and the region,” said Renee Miller, director of ASU’s Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. “We are very grateful.”

Since its inception in 1994, the Assisi Foundation of Memphis has awarded more than $100 million to non-profit organizations serving people in the Mid-South region surrounding Memphis, as well as the people of Memphis, Tenn.




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