By Anita Smith
Alacare Home Health & Hospice has pledged $100,000 to the UAB School of Nursing Building Fund, earmarked for a room in a laboratory for simulating home health care visits in the School’s planned new building. The Building Fund is part of the School’s participation in the current UAB Capital Campaign. Alacare Chairman/President John G. Beard, MBA, JD — a member of the School’s Board of Visitors — said this gift is an investment in Alacare’s belief in the School’s ability to educate home health nurses with unprecedented high skill sets.
“The UAB School of Nursing recognizes that we are in a health care reform era in which home health is dependent upon nurses who possess even higher skill sets than in the past,” said Beard.
The gift will establish the Alacare Home Heath & Hospice Nursing Skills Suite in honor of Beard’s younger sister, Susan B. Brouillette, MPH, MBA, Alacare’s Chief Executive Officer. The Brouillette Suite will be part of a home visits simulation laboratory representing the School’s most progressive setting to date to teach home health skills.
Beard said that BROUILLETTE has a love for Alacare’s nurses and other staff and “has done a great job” at Alacare. He believes it’s fitting she be honored at UAB, where she earned master’s degrees in public health and in business administration.
Beard views Alacare’s gift as promoting high standards set by his late parents. His father, Major Charles D. Beard, Jr. (USAF retired), was strongly supported by his wife, Mary Sue Graham Beard, when, in 1970, he founded Alacare, now Alabama’s oldest and largest family-owned, Medicare-certified home health agency.
“With health care reform, the home health care industry faces more pressure to keep patients out of the hospital as best we can,” said Beard. “We believe UAB knows how to educate nurses to help us do that and in the process provide patients and their families the level of home health services they deserve.”