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Motlow State Community College
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Motlow's Smyrna Center Nurses Thank Christy Houston Foundation

May 19, 2011

Motlow Nurses Thank Christy Houston FoundationWhen the gift is big, so should be the thank you. At least that's what the nursing students of Motlow College's Smyrna Center felt when they saw their small, sparsely equipped nursing lab transformed into an enhanced learning center because of a generous donation. The Christy Houston Foundation of Rutherford County recently awarded grant over $27,000 to upgrade the Smyrna Center nursing lab. When the students witnessed the completion of their newly renovated lab they were overwhelmed with pride and excitement.

Ashley Fleming, president of the Student Nurse Association (SNA), along with Vice President Kevin Summar and Secretary Jeff Davenport initiated plans for a way to show their appreciation to the Foundation. Cathy Simpson, Smyrna Center nursing coordinator and level one instructor as well as Smyrna Center Director, Cheryl Hyland quickly got on board to help the students plan a reception to personally and publically thank their generous donors. The students wrote thank you notes and prepared a video to present to members of the Foundation at the reception.

The Christy-Houston Foundation was established in 1986 after the sale of Middle Tennessee Medical Center to Saint Thomas and Baptist Hospital. The mission of the foundation is to enhance the quality of life in Rutherford County with an emphasis on healthcare by distributing grants to programs and projects with a similar goal. Members of the foundation attending the reception included Robert B. Mifflin, President of the Christy-Houston Foundation; Tommy Hord and Newton Molloy, board directors.

In addition to Hyland and Simpson, several representatives of Motlow College were also on hand to convey their personal gratitude for the improvements to the nursing lab. Dr. MaryLou Apple, president of Motlow College; Dr. Bonny Copenhaver, provost and vice president for student affairs; Amy Huff, interim director of nursing and allied health; Hilda Tunstill, vice president for business affairs; Pat Hendrix, associate professor and level one nursing coordinator and Kimberly Hackney, level two instructor; all acknowledged the significant difference the renovated lab would make by enhancing the hands-on education for current and future students nurses.

While members of the Foundation did not stipulate the items to be purchased for the lab, they did suggest purchasing a simulation mannequin designed for scenario-based training for a wide variety of clients. It can be used for clinical training in women's health, obstetrics, post-partum, wound assessment and care, and general patient assessment and care. Members of Motlow's nursing staff decided on the other equipment to be purchased including: a GoBed II Medical /Surgical Hospital bed with mattress and linens, new cabinetry for storage of lab supplies, two blood pressure training arms, an adult IV training arm kit, two Chester Chest central IV skills trainers, a bedside cabinet, over-bed table, medication cart and Flexiflo patrol pump for tube feeding training.

SNA President Fleming said, "Before the upgrade to the lab, our Smyrna students would often choose to travel to Motlow's McMinnville Center or the main campus in Moore County more frequently. With the addition of the new bed and other equipment we now can have more time in our lab for open practice days. Even the new cabinetry has made a huge difference, freeing valuable floor and storage space, allowing room for more students and learning tools; we are extremely grateful."

While touring the new lab during the reception, Board Director Hord of the Foundation said, "I am very impressed how Motlow's nursing department has spent the money awarded. We don't always get to see every item purchased, this has been a great experience today."