Support the Annual Fund

Alumni Giving for a New Generation of Nurses

UAB Nursing Magazine, Fall 2012

Harrell         Julia Powell Picture
Terry Harrell (BSN '77)                               Julia Powell (BSN '71)

Every single day here at the School of Nursing, we have reason to be grateful to the many generous alumni who support our Annual Fund.

Our Annual Fund helps close the gap between what we have and what we need. Through annual gifts, our alumni enable us to continue the important work of removing barriers to health care, not just here in Alabama, but around the world.

"The School of Nursing is introducing a number of leadership gift clubs to recognize Annual Fund donors who have decided to make giving to the school a priority and lend their support every year," said Jeannie Horton, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. "Membership is renewable annually and is based on the cumulative amount given to the Annual Fund within the year. We're also offering convenient multi-year pledges to help our donors plan their continuing gifts and to cut down on the number of annual solicitations."

Julia "Judy" Powell (BSN '71) is among those alumni whose faithful generosity to the Annual Fund has had a continuing impact on the school. As senior vice president of patient services for National HealthCare Corporation, based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Powell oversees a support department of all clinical disciplines—dietetics, social work, nursing, nursing informatics, health information, and recreation— for a corporation serving 11 states with 75 nursing homes, over 30 home care programs, assisted/independent living facilities, a hospice company, and rehabilitation services. The company also runs a nonprofit foundation that supports physician and nursing education in long-term care geriatrics.

Powell said she enjoys working in a field where the needs are so great and the environment is constantly changing. That's one of many reasons why she wants to support UAB's efforts to prepare the next generation of nurses to serve this patient population.

"The UAB community and the Birmingham medical community have a number of known researchers in geriatrics, so they recognize a need that I consider very important," Powell said. "But I also think it is important for all of us who have enjoyed wonderful careers in nursing to support the development of future nurses. I've been successful, and part of my success I owe to the UAB School of Nursing. I think I have an obligation to give back."

There weren't very many men in nursing back when Terry Harrell (BSN '77) and a friend dared each other to enroll. Harrell followed through, and his nursing education prepared him for a career he never could have anticipated. Initially, he thought he wanted to become a nurse anesthetist. But after completing his bachelor's degree, he decided to work in a hospital setting—one year in emergency care and three in the operating room—before continuing his education. About the time he decided anesthesia wasn't for him, he was offered a job with a pacemaker manufacturer who needed someone with clinical experience to attend implants. Harrell's career in medical sales had begun.

"In the mid-90s, a colleague and I happened onto a product used in reconstructive plastic surgery, and we've been dealing in that field for about 17 years now," said Harrell.

Their Birmingham-based company was purchased by Synovis Life Technologies, which recently was purchased by Baxter, a global health care corporation.

"We have become a very small part of a very, very large company," said Harrell, who is director of sales for a division called Synovis Micro Companies Alliance. "I do most of our clinical evaluation of products and our clinical training with the sales group. I'm also liaison to our surgeon customers. So I use my nursing education every day. It has helped me tremendously."

Harrell said he contributes to the School of Nursing's Annual Fund because he wants to help open doors for future nurses. "I always thought it was right to give back," he said. "There are talented students out there who might not have the financial wherewithal to pay for an education, and I want them to have the opportunities that I've enjoyed. It's just the right thing to do."

The Annual Fund is the school's main source of unrestricted income, giving the dean flexibility to meet emerging needs of students and faculty. These important charitable fund donations help us prepare the nurse leaders of tomorrow.

"It goes without saying that we are sincerely grateful for any gift at any level," said Horton. "But those alumni, faculty, and friends of the school who regularly contribute to the Annual Fund are especially appreciated because they enable us to plan more effectively, knowing what funds we can count on to fulfill our mission year after year."

Ready to participate? Visit uab.edu/onlinegiving or contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 205.975.8936 or nursealum@uab.edu.