McLeod Health announces continued commitment to support FMU’s nursing program

FLORENCE, SC (PRESS RELEASE)- McLeod Health announced a continued commitment to nursing education at Francis Marion University (FMU).

McLeod Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Tony Derrick and McLeod Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Training Tim Hess were on hand to present a $75,000 gift to FrancisMarionUniversity.

“When we began planning the nursing program some 12 years ago, McLeod was among the first institutions we approached,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “They were strongly supportive then and have provided assistance and advocacy over the years. McLeod provide monetary support for scholarships and equipment and clinical training opportunities for nurses and other health science majors. We wouldn’t have the quality programs that we have without their sponsorship.”

“This gift recognizes FMU for their commitment to the development of outstanding health care professionals for not only the region but for the patients of McLeod Health,” stated Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod. “McLeod Health is a large health care organization with 6 hospitals and 71 physician practices. We have a great need for registered nurses and Family Nurse Practitioners in our healthcare system. Our community has grown and we need nurses to care for everyone. By supporting the FMU Nursing Program we are sustaining a program that gives back to our community.”

FMU’s Department of Nursing offers a full range of nursing programs including BSN, RN to BSN, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner.

Because nurses are so essential to health care and the region’s economy, the Pee Dee is very fortunate to have two nursing education programs in Florence at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University. McLeod Health provides funds in support of both.

Derrick stated, “These nursing programs are very important to McLeod. Not only do we provide funding for both schools but we also offer nursing scholarships with each program for qualifying students.”

Heather Altman is a nursing student at Francis Marion University. She is on target to graduate in May 2016.

“I chose nursing as a profession because I love helping people,” said Altman. “There’s something so wonderful about being part of their care and knowing you are making a difference in their life.”

Altman is also a McLeod Scholarship recipient. McLeod helps nursing students reach their educational goals through scholarships to the Francis Marion University Nursing Program. Since 2006, McLeod has awarded in excess of $1,300,000 in scholarship monies to FMU nursing students.

“I was unsure of how I would be able to afford my final year of school,” said Altman. “Scholarship programs are helpful for those who need assistance with their finances. McLeod has made my education possible, and now I don’t have to worry financially about finishing my education.”

Dr. Ruth Wittmann-Price, Professor and Chair for the Department of Nursing at

Francis Marion University (FMU) underscored the importance of the financial support as well as the clinical support in nursing education by McLeod Health.

“The financial and clinical support provided by McLeod Health makes nursing education possible for many of our students. They’ve been a superb partner for our program as we’ve grown, and continue to grow.”

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