A generous $25,000 gift from DeTar Healthcare System will help the University of Houston-Victoria continue to develop a new bachelor’s degree in nursing program slated to enroll its first students in the fall of 2006. The BSN is designed in part to answer the current nursing shortage with a program that will help train and retain local health care workers.
The recruitment of qualified instructors from a competitive field is paramount to the new nursing program’s successful development. DeTar’s gift will be used to meet this goal along with a $250,000 contribution from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation to establish the university’s first endowed professorship.
“We are deeply grateful for this generous donation from DeTar,” said Dr. Tim Hudson, UHV president. “Their support is critical for UHV’s nursing program and their investment in that program will ultimately benefit all citizens of our shared service area. Access to good health care plays a pivotal role in the social and economic development of our region.”
In the seven decades since its founding, DeTar has consistently shown a commitment to community partnerships that directly benefit the Gulf Bend region. The DeTar gift is their largest ever to UHV. An affiliate of for-profit health care organization Triad Hospitals Inc., DeTar has continued its stewardship under chairman of the board Jesse V. DeLeon and chief executive officer William R. Blanchard.
According to Blanchard, “Establishment of a bachelor of science in nursing program at UHV is the next logical step in the development of Victoria as a regional medical center. Students will now be able to matriculate from the Victoria College Associate Degree Nursing program, to obtain a four-year degree. This means that we will have better trained nurses that are more likely to stay in Victoria. DeTar has supported Victoria College’s ADN program since its inception and will provide similar support to the UHV program in the future.”
As the area population ages, training new nurses is crucial to meeting the growing demand for health care. But so is retaining nurses already at work in local hospitals. The new program at UHV makes both possible, allowing nurses already at work to continue their education without leaving the area. At the same time, convenient access to nursing education encourages local citizens to enter the health care profession.
According to a recent study, 75 percent of Americans are concerned the nursing shortage could impact their personal health care. But the forward-thinking approach taken by DeTar and UHV may eventually provide an answer for the Gulf Bend region.
Pending Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approval, classes in nursing are scheduled to begin in fall 2006, with registration beginning in the spring. For more information on the new nursing program, call Esther Sandoval at (361) 570-4370.