April 8, 2009...The Decatur Memorial Hospital Nursing Education Endowment Fund has reached the $1 million mark.
The Educational Fund was established at DMH to assist hospital employees in reaching their educational goals. More than one hundred contributions were received throughout the past year to grow the fund from around $250,000 to $1 million. These contributions represent annual gifts, memorial gifts, and special event fundraisers.
“To help us accomplish our mission of improving the health of the people of central Illinois, we must have a team of educated employees to provide quality care to the people we serve,” said Ken Smithmier, President & CEO, Decatur Memorial Hospital. “The Nursing Education Endowment Fund is an essential part of supporting our mission by providing our employees with financial assistance to help further their education.”
Ann Dickens, R.N., director of Surgical/Oncology and Neurology Nursing at DMH, sees education at work among all levels within her 72-employee team—Certified Nurses Assistants (CNAs) working toward their LPN certificates; and RNs pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“The generous contributions to the DMH Nursing Education Endowment Fund communicate to the nurses that people value what we do,” Dickens said.
In all, 29 scholarships and awards have been granted to nursing students at DMH throughout the 2008-09 academic year. Chris Pope, R.N., director, Medical Nursing at DMH, believes that continuing education provides a win-win for both patients and employees.
The DMH Nursing Education Endowment Fund is comprised of the R. Helen Cleland Fund; the Dr. Thomas W. Samuels, Jr. Education Fund; and the Nurse Anesthetist Scholarship Fund, established in 2007 as a memorial for the late DMH Anesthesiologist Dr. Robert Waldvogel.