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Beverly Enterprises' $1 Million Grant to School of Nursing for Geriatric Nurses

W. Floyd

Beverly Enterprises, Inc., and the School of Nursing announced last Thursday that Beverly will donate $1 million to the school to establish the Penn-Beverly Partnership Fund. The fund primarily will be used to create a scholarship program for Penn nursing students. This program will offer scholarship loans that may be forgiven if the recipients complete a work commitment after they graduate.

"Quality patient care at our nursing homes requires well-educated, dedicated nurses who have specialized training in the unique health care needs of the elderly," said William R. Floyd, chairman, president and CEO of Beverly. "The objective of our grant is to stimulate interest in geriatric nursing and attract qualified clinicians into long-term care," said Mr. Floyd, C '67, W '69.

The Penn-Beverly Partnership, which will be funded over a four-year period, also will include a strong mentoring component in which Beverly nurses will team with Penn students to facilitate the students' clinical work at skilled nursing facilities. In future years, a peer mentoring network among alumni of the program will be developed to provide additional support to students as they complete their studies and enter the workforce.

"We are grateful for the generosity that Beverly has shown with its gift, and we are delighted that students will now have the opportunity to learn more about caring for elderly people," said Dr. Afaf I. Meleis, Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing. "Our hope is that the Penn-Beverly Partnership will encourage more of our students to pursue a career in geriatric nursing."

Mr. Floyd noted that Penn Nursing was selected as the recipient of the Beverly grant because it is regarded as one of the leading nursing schools in the country. The gerontology specialty curriculum at the school is ranked number one among all graduate schools in a survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report. The school also was selected because Beverly has a high concentration of nursing homes in Pennsylvania. There are 45 Beverly facilities in the state and 20 within a 100-mile radius of Penn.

"This partnership will have value to our entire organization," said Mr. Floyd. "The activities being developed under the Penn-Beverly Partnership include continuing education programs that will give participants the opportunity to upgrade their skills at Penn. The proximity of the school to several of our facilities will make it easier for us to capitalize on the partnership."

In addition, the Partnership will enable Penn educators and students to conduct "best practices" research at Beverly facilities to study the latest innovations in patient care.

"We anticipate that the Penn-Beverly Partnership will result in great benefit for all involved," said Dean Meleis.

Beverly Enterprises, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries are leading providers of healthcare services to the elderly in the United States. They operate 372 skilled nursing facilities, as well as 20 assisted living centers, and 23 hospice and home care centers. Through AEGIS Therapies, they also offer rehabilitative services on a contract basis to nursing facilities operated by other care providers.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 28, April 6, 2004