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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Scholarship forges link between UNCP and Cape Fear Valley Health Systems

UNC Pembroke and Cape Fear Valley Health System (CFVHS) of Fayetteville, N.C., the region’s largest health care provider, have forged an alliance based on their mutual interest in the promotion of nursing education.

From left: Dr. Breeden Blackwell, a UNCP and Cape Fear Valley Health System trustee, Dr. Barbara Synowiez, chair of UNCP’s Nursing Department, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Richard H. Parks, CEO of CFVHS and Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

From left: Dr. Breeden Blackwell, a UNCP and Cape Fear Valley Health System trustee, Dr. Barbara Synowiez, chair of UNCP’s Nursing Department, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Richard H. Parks, CEO of CFVHS and Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

CFVHS Chief Executive Officer Richard H. Parks visited UNCP on July 10 to tour the campus and discuss a $110,000 gift for two nursing scholarship programs. The scholarships will boost nursing in the region by providing financial aid to students and to nurses seeking advanced degrees.

Parks is hopeful that this is the beginning of a partnership between the two institutions.

“I expect a long and fruitful relationship,” he said. “We felt like this would be a good relationship to embark upon.”

With a nationwide nursing shortage, CFVHS and its four hospitals stand to benefit from UNCP’s new nursing program, said Dr. Breeden Blackwell, who is a Cumberland County commissioner and a trustee of both UNCP and CFVHS.

“This means additional nurses for Cape Fear Valley hospitals,” Dr. Blackwell said. “This is a natural marriage that will turn out to be something good. We know it can work, and it will work.”

UNCP admitted 120 students to its new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program over the last two years, said Dr. Barbara Synowiez, chair of the Nursing Department.

“First of all, I am elated for our students, one-third of whom are from the Fayetteville area,” Dr. Synowiez said. “This gift will also help our faculty pursue advanced degrees in nursing. In our region, it is difficult to find Ph.D. trained faculty.”

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, who is a former hospital administrator, said UNCP’s two nursing programs would lift the profession in the region.

Discussing Cape Fear Valley Health System’s collaboration with UNCP nursing are from left: Dr. Breeden Blackwell, a trustee for CFVHS and UNCP, Richard H. Parks, CEO of CFVHS, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“Now that we’ve added our BSN program, you will see the fruits of that work,” Chancellor Meadors said. “Because nurses often stay in their home region, it will help Cape Fear Valley’s pool.

“We’re really looking forward to working with Cape Fear Valley and expanding our health care programs any way we can,” he said. “We believe in making education available throughout the region. We will come to you if necessary.”

UNCP has major satellite campuses at community colleges in Moore and Richmond counties and on Ft. Bragg next door to Fayetteville.

About half of Cape Fear Valley Health System’s gift will go into a perpetual endowment to promote advanced education for nursing professionals. The other half goes to undergraduate nursing scholarships for area students.

A not-for-profit corporation, Cape Fear Valley Health System has 616 beds at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Highsmith-Rainey Hospital, Southeastern Regional Rehabilitation Center and Behavioral Health Care. CFVHS is a comprehensive health care center that operates cancer and heart centers as well as hospice and home health services.

UNCP has two nursing programs, one for registered nurses (RNs) to earn their BSN degree and one for undergraduates to earn a BSN degree.

For more information about nursing at UNCP, please call the department at 910.521.6522 or email nursing@uncp.edu. For more information about giving at UNCP, please call the Office for Advancement 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

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