Alumna gives back

Planned gift will support future BSN students

Photo: Bebe GeotterBy Laura Lesley

Bebe Barksdale Goetter has dedicated her life to serving her community in meaningful ways. Thanks to a generous planned gift to the UAB School of Nursing, her longstanding legacy of service will be carried out for years to come through future nursing students who will receive the Bebe Barksdale Goetter Endowed Scholarship in Nursing.

Goetter is a 1974 graduate of the UAB School of Nursing’s baccalaureate nursing program. She worked for many years at UAB Hospital in a variety of clinical roles. In the spirit of promoting service and volunteerism, her scholarship will be given with preference to students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service.

“I’ve been a nurse for 45 years now,” said Goetter. “Being a nurse has made a profound impact on my life and has taught me that all nurses should see themselves as community caregivers, whether in organized spaces like hospitals or clinics, or being engaged in their communities through service.

“The Bebe Barksdale Goetter Endowed Scholarship in Nursing is incredibly special,” said UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Bebe’s far-reaching volunteer efforts have made a measurable impact on the health of our state, and I am confident that recipients of this scholarship will carry on her legacy of prioritizing community service and caring for underserved populations.”

“It is an honor to be entrusted with this planned gift that will offer scholarships to future UAB School of Nursing students in Bebe’s name,” Harper added.

Bebe and her husband, William Goetter, MD, left UAB in 1988 and settled in Fairhope, Alabama. There they, along with several others, led efforts to establish the first free clinic in the state of Alabama in 1998. Formed in Bay Minette, the Alabama Free Clinic offers free health care and health education programs to adults who are without health insurance. Since its inception, the clinic has expanded to now include three medical clinics, a wound clinic and a dental clinic serving roughly 600 patients annually across Baldwin County.

The Goetters’ involvement both in patient care and volunteer efforts have inspired many friends and family members to pursue nursing careers, including their nephew, Jordan Barksdale. Jordan followed in his aunt’s footsteps, earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the UAB School of Nursing in 2016 and recently returned to earn his Master of Science in Nursing. He currently works at UAB Hospital, and much like Goetter, he remains actively involved with their shared alma mater, even serving a term on the UAB National Alumni Society Junior Board. In addition, a great niece of Goetter’s is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Atlanta, Georgia and another is an office-based registered nurse in Pensacola, Florida.

“Although I am no longer practicing as a nurse, I maintain my licensure and will always see myself as a nurse,” said Goetter. “UAB afforded me many opportunities in both my education at the UAB School of Nursing and my work at UAB Hospital. Later, moving to a small town in Alabama opened my eyes to the nurse’s ability to bond with and serve the community on an intimate level.”

Read 1087 times Last modified on December 03, 2019

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