Campus: CSU Long Beach -- November 2, 2005

Visiting Nurse Association of Long Beach Foundation Gives $175,000 to Nursing Program at Cal State Long Beach

In its last act as a corporation, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Long Beach Foundation donated more than $175,000 to the Nursing Program at California State University, Long Beach. The funds are dedicated to nursing student scholarships.

According to Carol Churchill, current president of the foundation, for more than 100 years, Visiting Nurse Associations across American have been providing home health care to the communities they serve, offering quality of life and independence for patients of all ages - from infants to elderly. Today, guided by their charitable missions, VNAs care for nearly 10 million people annually.

The VNA of Long Beach was founded in 1916, and the VNA of Long Beach Foundation was established in 1966, having received bequests from grateful individuals and supporters. The foundation's board of directors utilized the income generated by the donations to provide nursing education and training to the nursing staff at VNA.

In 1997, the VNA of Long Beach merged with St. Mary Medical Center to combine delivery in home nursing care.

"After the merger, the board of the foundation decided to dissolve the corporation," explained Patricia Buehnerkemper, former executive director of the VNA of Long Beach and past president of the foundation. "Still, we wanted to continue providing educational support for nurses and nursing students."

The board, after careful evaluation of several nursing programs, voted to donate the balance of the corporation's assets to the Nursing Program at California State University, Long Beach to be used exclusively for nursing scholarships.

Buehnerkemper noted that the VNA of Long Beach had worked with students from CSULB periodically and that the board members were favorably impressed by the nursing program offered by the university.

"We are extremely grateful to the Visiting Nurse Association of Long Beach Foundation for their generosity to the Nursing Program at Cal State Long Beach. These monies will be used specifically for student scholarships," said Lucy Huckabay, director of the CSULB Nursing Program. "We're also grateful that the group didn't specify that the money be used strictly for undergraduate or graduate students. This way, we will be able to give funds to a variety of students with a variety of nursing interests."


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