The West Virginia University School of Nursing will add a professor specializing in evidence-based research, and create endowments to support faculty research, thanks to $400,000 in gifts and pledges from WVU Hospitals and two School of Nursing alumnae.

The gifts qualified for a dollar-for-dollar match from the West Virginia Research Trust Fund – the Bucks for Brains program – netting the School an $800,000 increase in its endowment.

“Building a strong endowment base for research is crucial to the ability of the School of Nursing to serve West Virginia,” said Dean Georgia Narsavage, Ph.D. “Each of these gifts will add substantially to our capacity for advancing nursing practice and improving the quality of life for West Virginians through nursing science.”

The largest pledge, $350,000, will fund the WVU Hospitals Evidence Based Research Practice Professorship in Nursing. With the state match, the $700,000 endowment will enable the School to name a professor who will work with hospital nurses on research in biological, biotechnological, or biomedical sciences. All of the endowed funds will be managed by the WVU Foundation, the private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for WVU.

Bruce McClymonds, CEO of WVU Healthcare, says he is confident that supporting nursing research is a good investment. “One of the advantages for nurses of working in an academic hospital is the opportunity to participate in research that improves patient care,” he said. “Our strong relationship with the School of Nursing will help our nursing staff be a part of this research effort.”

Two other donors are adding $25,000 each to the School’s endowment. When matched by Bucks for Brains, these gifts will increase the funds available to the School by $100,000. Laurie Badzek’s gift will create the Badzek Family Endowment for Nursing Research to support projects associated with the West Virginia Quality of Life Institute. Badzek is the director of the Institute and a WVU nursing professor. Badzek is also director of the American Nurses Association’s Center for Ethics and Human Rights. The Quality of Life Institute’s goals are improving access to high-quality care and promoting self-management for West Virginians.

Lois Kuhn Evans’ gift created the Ruth and Robert Kuhn Nursing Faculty Research Fund. The Kuhn Fund will provide support for seed money to faculty for start-up research projects that could lead to external funding. Lois Kuhn Evans, Ph.D., is the van Ameringen Professor in Nursing Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and associate director of the Center for Integrative Science in Aging and a 1965 graduate of the WVU School of Nursing.

The state created the Research Trust Fund in 2008 with an initial appropriation of $50 million ($35 million for WVU, $15 million for Marshall) to leverage public and private investments that will help transform West Virginia’s economy. To date, the WVU Foundation has received 221 qualified private gifts (donations and pledges) totaling $7.8 million that were requested for Research Trust Fund match, for a total of $15.6 million after the state match.

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CONTACT: Kim Fetty, HSC News Service

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