Huntington receives $100,000 Parkview grant

Huntington, Ind.—During a brief ceremony today, Parkview Huntington Hospital awarded Huntington University with a $100,000 grant for a new nursing degree program. [Listen to the press conference.]

Dr. G. Blair Dowden, Huntington University president, (left) accepts the grant from Ryan Warner, president of the Parkview Huntington Hospital board of directors, and Dr. Darlene Garrett, Parkview Huntington's chief operating officer. (Click photo for high resolution image.)
“Partnering with Huntington University in the development of this program is an excellent opportunity for Parkview Huntington Hospital to enhance our already strong ties with the University and at the same time assist in addressing the national shortage of experienced nurses,” said Dr. Darlene Garrett, chief operating officer for Parkview Huntington Hospital. “The stability and quality of our nation’s health care system relies on a sufficient supply of well-educated and skilled nurses, and the addition of a nursing degree program at Huntington University is a major step toward meeting these needs.”

Dowden expresses his gratitude to Garrett. (Click photo for high resolution image.)
Huntington University faculty approved adding a bachelor of nursing degree after two years of formal study. The new program was initially proposed by the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences in late 2003, one year after the University opened its state-of-the-art, 93,000 square foot Science Hall, the largest and most high-tech facility on campus.

In the atrium of the Science Hall today, Dr. G. Blair Dowden, Huntington University president, expressed gratitude for the grant.

Dowden speaks about the partnership between Huntington University and Parkview Huntington Hospital. (Click photo for high resolution image.)
“We are excited about the partnership with Parkview which will help us expand health care education in Northeast Indiana,” Dowden said. “We have consistently received requests for a nursing program at our institution. Soon we will be able to serve a significant group of students that we weren’t able to serve before.”

Huntington University tentatively has scheduled fall of 2007 as the opening date for the nursing degree program.

“This grant is an incredible expression of support for the University as well as the new nursing program,” said Dr. Norris Friesen, vice president and dean of the University. “We have had much encouragement from Parkview Huntington Hospital and the larger Huntington medical community. A grant of this magnitude confirms our decision to develop a high quality nursing program consistent with our Christ-centered mission.”

Garrett shares about the need for nurses.(Click photo for high resolution image.)
Area health care providers interviewed for the University’s study reported a shortage of qualified nurses and expected increasing demand for nurses with the breadth of education represented by the bachelor of nursing degree. Nurse executives interviewed in the study stressed the importance of critical thinking and decision making, which are key features of Huntington’s core curriculum in the liberal arts and proposed B.S.N. program.

The University applied for a grant through the Parkview Huntington Hospital Foundation, an organization which gave $331,559 toward various community projects in 2005. Community hospitals, like Parkview, are guaranteed no less than $50,000 per year to return to the local area in the form of competitive grants which are funded by the hospital’s bottom line.

Warner elaborates about the ongoing partnership between Parkview Huntington Hospital and Huntington University. (Click photo for high resolution image.)
“I’m very excited that Parkview Huntington Hospital has decided to partner with us as we seek to establish our nursing program,” said Dr. Beth Burch, chair of the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. “Early on they gave us their support verbally, but it is so encouraging to see them show support with a financial commitment, and we greatly appreciate that. We look forward to working with Parkview over the coming years to provide additional nurses, which are so sorely needed around the country and around the world.”

“The Parkview Huntington Hospital Community Health Benefit program is a remarkable way to address both local and national needs through the granting of hospital dollars back to the Huntington County community,” said Greg Schnepf, director of the Parkview Huntington Hospital Foundation. “We are proud to be a part of the creation of Huntington University’s new nursing degree program.”

In related news, the Parkview Huntington Hospital Foundation awarded the University’s Athletic Training Department a $5,000 grant to purchase an auto-sound therapeutic ultrasound machine and a muscle stimulator.

Dr. Beth Burch, chair of the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, shares her passion for the new nursing program. (Click photo for high resolution image.)
“These machines are great additions to the training department and allow us to treat our students with the most current advances in athletic training technology,” said Kevin Vanden Akker, athletic trainer for the University. “They provide our training room with the latest and greatest in equipment. I think it’s an excellent opportunity for our students to get treatments like these that will get them back on their feet sooner.”

The Athletic Training Department provides sports medicine coverage for more than 200 athletes involved in Huntington’s 15 varsity sports. During the 2004-2005 academic year, the department recorded more than 145 injuries that required evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation. Almost half of the injuries were muscle strains or ligament sprains which respond well to the therapeutic equipment the grant will provide.

Parkview Huntington Hospital also provided $3,000 for Hepatitis A and B as well as Tetanus vaccinations for approximately 40 Huntington University volunteers who traveled to Biloxi, Miss., during January Term to aid in hurricane relief efforts.

“I believe that some, maybe many, of the students would not have been able to participate in this relief mission if they had been personally billed for the vaccines,” said Donna Heck, registered nurse in the University’s Health Services Center. “This may have resulted in a significant loss of helping hands from Huntington University to this ravaged area of our country.”

With the completion of the series of Hepatitis A and B vaccination shots, those involved will have life-long immunity to both Hepatitis A and B.


More excerpts from today's press conference

From Dr. G. Blair Dowden, Huntington University president
"Huntington University has been grateful throughout the years to collaborate with our community and we have become a highly ranked academic institution through these strategic partnerships with many neighbors and friends."

"The medical community of Huntington County, and Parkview Huntington Hospital in particular, have been strategic partners with the University for many years. For example, Dr. Darlene Garrett, chief operations officer of Parkview Huntington Hospital, provided us with wise counsel and guidance as we studied the feasibility of starting a nursing program at the University."

"This collaboration with Parkview Huntington Hospital and this significant gift will help the University to expand health care education opportunities in Northeast Indiana. We realize that there is a great need for additional nursing programs which will help to relieve a nursing shortage. We are grateful for Parkview’s help in bringing this new program to reality."

"This grant is an incredible expression of support for the University and our strategic direction. A grant of this magnitude confirms our decision to develop a high quality nursing program consistent with our Christ-centered mission."

From Dr. Darlene Garrett, chief operating officer
for Parkview Huntington Hospital
"According to the American Nurses Association, the nursing field is booming and there is a huge need for nurses. There are more than 100,000 vacant nursing positions and an ever growing need for health care workers. By the year 2020, it is estimated that there will be a shortage of 800,000 nurses. The health care filed is one of the best places to get a job and it is likely to stay that way for many years."

"Registered nurses constitute the largest health care occupation with more than 2.3 million jobs. Once an RN completes the educational requirements, he/she will work to prevent disease, promote health and help patients with illnesses. They also become community advocates and health educators."

From Ryan Warner, president of the board of directors
for Parkview Huntington Hospital
"On behalf of the entire Board of PHH we are delighted to be able to further our goal of improving our communities' health care and at the same time working with HU in the form of community partnerships and collaborations."

"Huntington University has a long-standing history of academic excellence and service to the community. That level of excellence will continue with the development of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. The ultimate purpose of the program is to build the knowledge that nurses can use to improve the health and care of others…those individuals might be your family, or friends and neighbors who live in Huntington County or somewhere else in northeast Indiana."

From Dr. Beth Burch, chair of the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences for Huntington University

"Huntington University provides a sound science education with an excellent reputation in our local community and around the state for effectively preparing and educating our students for what lies ahead beyond their time here with us."

"An important part of our curriculum includes a broad liberal arts general education core that provides experiences for students in various disciplines & gives them opportunity to extend themselves into realms that may not feel comfortable, but nonetheless are important for an educated young adult to experience."

"These could be accomplished at any number of fine institutions of higher learning—so, what’s special & unique about what we do here at Huntington University? We aim to provide a solid education within the framework of a Christian worldview & encourage & facilitate our students’ connecting their Christian faith to their chosen discipline of study. God, church & Christian principles are not just part of our lives on Sundays around here. We as administrators, faculty and staff work hard to integrate our Christian faith & beliefs into our work of educating students."

"An important tradition among our students & alumni is their seeking to serve God in their chosen vocations."

"We"At HU have been about the business of educating fine young people as doctors, teachers, lawyers, ministers, missionaries & a host of other service-oriented professionals."

"We"We have recently added new programs to our curriculum in social work, worship leadership & recreation & sports ministry. Now we want to add another significant group to those professionals who receive a fine, Christ-centered liberal arts education—bachelor-level-educated nurses equipped to function effectively & provide leadership in a challenging & demanding career in the context of a changing healthcare system here in the 21st century."

"We so appreciate Parkview Huntington Hospital’s vote of confidence in us that we can provide the sort of nurses our community, state, nation & world so desperately need. We’re up for the challenge & thank you, Parkview Huntington, for helping us achieve our goal of adding nursing education to our university curriculum." 
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and in 2004 was named one of the 50 best Christian places to work by Christianity Today magazine.  


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director