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U of M Receives $2 Million Gift from Baptist Memorial Health Care
For release: October 17, 2007
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Baptist Memorial Health Care formally announced a $2 million gift to the University of Memphis today, which will be distributed to expand and enhance the University’s nursing and audiology speech language program.

“Helping to ensure the future of health care in our community starts with preparing today’s students for careers in health care,” said Stephen C. Reynolds, president and chief executive officer for Baptist. “This is one way we can help plant a seed, by contributing to the education of health care students. We feel it is extremely important to provide quality training and facilities to students.”

Baptist’s gift comes in the midst of a national need for nurses and other health care workers, some of which can be attributed to a growing need for health care faculty and fewer students entering the health care field. 

“As a faith-based institution, our mission of healing, teaching and preaching extends beyond the hospital and into our community and our schools,” said Reynolds. “We believe it is critical for health care organizations to work together with quality universities and colleges like the University of Memphis to build a strong work force for tomorrow.”

“We are very grateful to Baptist Memorial Health Care for their $2 million contribution, which will allow the University of Memphis to double our capacity of nursing students,” said Dr. Shirley Raines, the University’s president. “Today there is a shortage of 650 unfilled nursing positions in Memphis, and the State of Tennessee projects a shortage of 35,500 registered nurses by 2020. Since Memphis is one of the major health care centers in the Mid-South, the University of Memphis must produce more nurses to meet the shortage.”

Baptist supports a number of health care education programs at colleges and universities throughout the Mid-South, including Southwest Tennessee Community College, the University of Mississippi, Dyersburg State Community College and Union University. Baptist also invests $12 million a year in the Baptist College of Health Sciences. The school’s graduates go on to work for a number of health care organizations, both within and outside the Baptist system.

The University of Memphis, founded in 1912, today is a metropolitan research university committed to excellence in education and service to the community. One of 45 campuses under the aegis of the Tennessee Board Regents, the University offers 15 bachelor’s degrees in more than 50 majors and 70 concentrations, master’s degrees in more than 45 subject areas, and doctoral degrees in 21 disciplines, as well as the juris doctorate (law) and specialist in education degrees. Its park-like suburban campus is home to approximately 20,000 students and 2,500 faculty and staff members. The University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. More information about the U of M is available online at www.memphis.edu. 

One of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the United States, Baptist offers a full continuum of care to communities throughout the Mid-South. The Baptist system, which consistently ranks among the top integrated health care networks in the nation, comprises 14 hospitals; more than 3,100 affiliated physicians; home, hospice and psychiatric care throughout West Tennessee and North Mississippi; minor medical centers and clinics; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by the Baptist College of Health Sciences. In fiscal year 2006, Baptist provided $373 million in community benefit.

For more information about Baptist, please visit www.baptistonline.org or call 800-4-BAPTIST.

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