Support Your Alma Mater

Carol DavenportGENEX Services Inc. has awarded the UAB School of Nursing $20,000 in scholarship funds to be given to a deserving nursing student through their Case Manager Scholarship program. Each February, GENEX employees have the opportunity to nominate their alma mater to receive scholarship funds in support of nursing students’ educational endeavors. Carol Davenport, a UAB School of Nursing BSN 1987 graduate nominated the School this year. The School was one of five universities selected to receive the award. 

Davenport, along with Lissa Ruhl, Branch Manager, and Linda Pickard, Case Manager from GENEX Services, Inc. presented the scholarship check to the UAB School of Nursing Dean Doreen Harper on August 21, 2013 and also toured the School. 

GENEX Services, Inc., a corporation providing case management services, is headquartered in Wayne, PA, with the Alabama branch being located in Vestavia Hills. The company’s mission is to provide exceptional healthcare and disability management solutions to their customers and to create a brighter future for those they serve.

Julia Powell PictureJulia "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."

harrellThere 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."