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Lonesome Pine Community Fund donates $25,000 to UVa-Wise for nurse training software

Nursing students at The University of Virginia-Wise will receive beneficial training in real-life clinical scenarios through a donation from the Lonesome Pine Community Fund.

The donation will enable the college to buy software that will foster critical thinking for students. Not only will students benefit, but the college has agreed to share this software with nurses in Wellmont’s Mountain Region in Southwest Virginia.

Representatives of Wellmont Health System presented a check to college officials at a ceremony Thursday, Feb. 16, in Smiddy Hall.

“We are so pleased to partner again with UVa-Wise to benefit health care in the region,” said David Brash, vice president of the Mountain Region. “We share the same desire to have the best-trained nurses, and this innovative software will give the college and Wellmont an extra tool to elevate care that our patients receive. This is an excellent way for Wellmont and UVa-Wise to continue their productive professional relationship.”

Brash said the donation is a worthwhile investment for Wellmont because many UVa-Wise nursing graduates have worked at Wellmont hospitals in Southwest Virginia. He commended UVa-Wise for its kindness in allowing Wellmont nurses to use this software for their training needs.

Cathie Collins, chairwoman of UVa-Wise’s nursing department, said the software will include a virtual patient that will react in different ways depending on the type of treatment the student or nurse determines is appropriate. She said it will give nurses and students a chance to see the results of their choices.

"Critical thinking is vital for those in the nursing profession," said Sanders Huguenin, provost at UVa-Wise. "The generous gift from Wellmont Health System enables us to purchase software that will allow our student nurses and working nurses to enhance their skills in a safe, controlled environment. The student nurses and newly licensed nurses will gain a greater level of confidence, and we are fortunate to partner with Wellmont on this project."

Todd Norris, Wellmont’s senior vice president of system advancement and executive director of Wellmont Foundation, said the donation to UVa-Wise fits well with Wellmont’s goals for the Mountain Region.

“We continue to look for innovative ways to enhance our delivery of care for the Mountain Region,” Norris said. “Partnerships such as this one with UVa-Wise ultimately benefit the patients of Southwest Virginia through the use of innovative technology.”

Brash said Wellmont wishes the late David Prior, longtime chancellor of UVa-Wise, could have been present to participate in Thursday’s ceremony. He said Prior was a friend to Wellmont and played an important role in the development of high-quality health care in the region.