Davises make gift to UWA nursing

Published 2:53 pm Friday, March 18, 2011

Benefactors Eddie and Susan Davis, Marsha Cannon, Ira D. Pruitt School of Nursing chairperson; and Tom Tartt, development director.

LIVINGSTON – The University of West Alabama’s Ira D. Pruitt School of Nursing will soon provide students with the latest in patient simulation technology thanks to a Sumter County couple’s commitment to improving health care in the county.

Susan and Eddie Davis of York have committed $50,000 to “The University We Will Be” fundraising campaign, earmarked for the nursing program’s clinical laboratory renovation and new patient simulator, a SimMan aptly named Davis.

“The new SimMan 3G will allow our students develop, refine, and apply knowledge and skills in a realistic clinical situation as they participate in interactive learning experiences,” said Marsha Cannon, nursing chairperson. “They can gain valuable experience in a non-threatening environment, without the fear of harming a live patient.”

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The nursing program admits 80 students each year through a competitive application process. With limited clinical space in Brock Hall, Cannon says the SimMan is an exciting addition, thanks to its impressive capabilities and the range of simulated experiences it provides.

Operated by computer software, the SimMan bleeds, cries, vomits, talks, blinks, convulses and goes into cardiac arrest. Its technology measures the quality of CPR and provides real time feedback on compression rate, depth, release, and more. The eyes weep in reaction to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear virtual agents. It even applies the appropriate physiological responses to drugs administered by the students. In addition, its synchronized video and audio recording provides a valuable tool for critiquing mistakes and sharing the scenarios with classes.

Eddie Davis, pharmacist and president of York Drug and The Drug Store of Livingston, says he is pleased to support this state-of-the-art teaching tool. His family chose to partner with the nursing school to promote health and wellness in the county.

“As a whole, UWA represents a level of success that neighboring counties don’t have, and the nursing program is a godsend to our area as we collaborate to reach the community through healthcare initiatives,” he said.

Nursing students annually offer health screenings at both of his local drug stores, University health fairs, and regional schools and daycare facilities. Davis says UWA students also assist at his monthly diabetic support group.

A 1994 nursing graduate and former adjunct clinical instructor, Susan Davis knows from personal experience how well UWA’s program prepares graduates for both the NCLEX licensure exam and for providing quality patient care.

“These students support healthcare in Alabama and Mississippi, so it’s important to us to support them,” said the neonatal nurse at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian, Miss.

“UWA is the jewel of our county,” Eddie Davis added. “If we, as locals, don’t support the University, who will?”

The University We Will Be” campaign is an ongoing initiative to raise $15 million in gifts and pledges by 2012 for the University of West Alabama. These funds will improve campus facilities, provide scholarships, enhance the campus learning environment, support the faculty and fund community outreach projects.