Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Mendocino College receives gift to benefit nursing program

Mendocino College Vice President of Education and Student Services Meridith Randall, Howard Memorial Hospital CEO Kevin Erich, and Mendocino College Superintendent/President Kathryn G. Lehner. Courtesy photo.

UKIAH – Mendocino College’s nursing education program is the beneficiary of a monetary gift from Willits' Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital, college administrators have announced.

The hospital recently gave $12,500 to the Mendocino College Foundation, according to Superintendent/President Kathryn G. Lehner.

The funds will help support the college’s nursing program, including faculty and clinical expenses for nursing students, allowing the college to continue bringing new individuals into the program.

The donation will benefit nursing students from around the region who pursue degrees in the program. The fifth graduating class, which celebrated commencement last May, included graduates from Lake County.

"Howard Memorial Hospital supports Mendocino College's efforts to provide quality medical education,” said Kevin Erich, president and chief executive officer of the hospital located in Willits. “The registered nurse education program in particular is of tremendous benefit to our local hospitals and clinics and helps to ensure access to quality medical care for years to come.''

He said the hospital was pleased to be able to help Mendocino College fulfill its educational mission with the donation.

The hospital’s governing board approved the donation following review of a recommendation from Howard Memorial Hospital’s administrative team, Erich said about the $12,500 gift.

In 2008, the College received a $10,000 donation from the hospital.

“I am so thankful that Howard Hospital continues to be dedicated to helping our program be successful,” said Mendocino College Nursing Director Barbara J. French. “Even in this dramatic economic climate they have given a great amount to the College for the nursing program.”

The contribution will be administered by the Mendocino College Foundation, the nonprofit organization that provides funding for education enhancement, staffing and program needs at the four campus centers, and student scholarships.

The foundation is beginning its 26th year of support for Mendocino College.

Echoing the nursing director’s sentiments about the hospital’s contribution, Meridith Randall, vice president of Education and Student Services at the college, said, “Howard Hospital has been one of our most generous and consistent supporters since the beginning of our nursing program. We are especially grateful for this donation during difficult financial times for the college.”

French stated that state budget cuts are affecting all programs at the college. “The school is scrambling to maintain all courses at their current levels, and nursing is no exception. It is by donations such as those from our clinical training sites that help us maintain our high standards for our nursing program.”

Sue Goff, dean of the College’s Career & Technical Education, also shares French’s appreciation for the hospital’s generosity.

“The most immediate and persistent need we have in the Mendocino Nursing Program is to support faculty positions, particularly in light of ever-shrinking state funding,” she said. “These generous donations are greatly appreciated and will assist us in continuing to admit new nursing students every year. Howard Hospital is an exemplary partner working with Mendocino College in maintaining a high quality and accessible nursing program to meet our community needs.”

The hospital’s latest contribution follows a donation from one of its employees, Registered Nurse Vicky Howard.

The Mendocino College graduate, who says she believes in giving back, had been a nursing program scholarship recipient. She and her husband Jeff made a $500 donation last fall. Vicky Howard explained at the time that she was grateful to Mendocino College for giving her a chance to earn her degree.

Mendocino College Foundation relies on contributions for providing scholarships to students and for helping it in its support for the College.

Information about the foundation, its directors, events, and giving opportunities can be found on the foundation’s Web site, , or may be obtained by calling the foundation office at 707-467-1018.

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