Alacare makes gift for new nursing building at Auburn University

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Alacare Home Health and Hospice Services Inc. has made the lead gift to Auburn University to help construct a proposed new building for the School of Nursing.

Alacare President and Chairman John Beard and CEO Susan Beard Brouillette are longtime advocates of the corporate partnership between Alacare and the School of Nursing. Alacare facilities around the state have long served as clinical rotation sites for Auburn nursing students. Alacare’s prior philanthropic support has helped to purchase life-like mannequins for the school’s simulation lab. The mannequins were appropriately nicknamed “Mr. Charlie” and “Miss Mary Sue” after John and Susan’s parents. Charlie Beard founded Alacare in 1970.

“Our parents were big supporters of the nursing profession,” said Brouillette. “We are proud to carry on the tradition.”

Beard said students could benefit from more mannequins, but there isn’t enough space for another lab in the school’s current home, Miller Hall. During his last visit to campus, Beard addressed a large cohort of nursing students at nearby Cary Hall because there wasn’t a room big enough for the group in Miller.

“Space is always at a premium on a college campus, but there’s only so much you can do when the size of your student body and breadth of your academic programs exceed your existing building,” said Beard, a 1972 alumnus of Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.

Built in 1952, Miller Hall is only 14,403 square feet. The proposed nursing facility would be more than 47,000 square feet.

“Everyone should see the value in supporting the nursing profession,” said Brouillette. “One way or another everyone in our society is going to need a nurse. We are basically shortchanging ourselves without providing them with the training they need.”

Gregg Newschwander, dean of the School of Nursing, said he is grateful for their continued support of the School of Nursing and for recognizing the need for a new building.

“A bigger facility will enable us to grow our student enrollment at every level, support clinical teaching through simulation and provide adequate space for faculty research,” he said. “It also will help fulfill the university’s mission by responding to the needs of the people of Alabama. In the next five to 10 years, the demand for nurses will rise dramatically, both at the bedside and in primary care and outpatient settings.”

A leader in providing quality home health care and hospice services throughout Alabama, Alacare is the state’s oldest and largest privately owned Medicare home health agency, and is certified by the State of Alabama Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Health Provider Standards. With corporate offices in Birmingham, Alacare has 24 clinical offices throughout the state with more than 350 nurses and 950 total staff members.

Charitable gifts in support of the proposed new School of Nursing building and other programs in the school can be made through the Auburn University Foundation. Donors may make a gift online at www.auburn.edu/giving or contact Shelley Grider at (334) 844-6753 or gridesw@auburn.edu.

(Written by Amy Weaver)

Contacts: Shelley Grider, School of Nursing, (334) 844-6753 (gridesw@auburn.edu),
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)