University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

ARCHIVE: Davidson Foundation gives $1 million for nursing equipment

March 7, 2012
James A. “Buddy” Davidson
James A. “Buddy” Davidson

Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor announced today that the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation of Midland has approved a grant of $1 million for the purchase of equipment in the university’s new Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center. The grant will be used to purchase high-fidelity patient simulators for several clinical laboratories and a hospital simulation suite in the new center.

The grant is the largest in a series of gifts that the foundation has made to the UMHB nursing program since 2005.  The foundation is the legacy of James A. “Buddy” Davidson, a Midland businessman who began his career as a landman and went on to establish his own oil and gas firm.  Though he had no affiliation with UMHB during his lifetime, he and his wife, Sandra, became acquainted with the work of the university when they were patients at the nearby Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

“Buddy was impressed with the nurses who took care of us at Scott & White,” recalls Mrs. Davidson, “and when he visited with them, he learned that they were graduates of the UMHB nursing program.  He told me that he wanted to do something to help the College of Nursing at UMHB. The foundation was formed to continue his charitable support of the causes he believed in, and a grant was awarded to UMHB to establish a scholarship for nursing students.”

Since 2005, the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Endowed Nursing Scholarship has helped many students pursue their degrees in nursing at UMHB.  The foundation’s latest gift will enlarge its circle of support by providing equipment that will be used by every student in the UMHB nursing program.

The grant will be used to equip two large clinical skills labs with computerized Sim Man mannequins.  The high-fidelity "patients” will be programmed to manifest a variety of symptoms and to respond to care, both through vital signs and vocal responses.  The grant will also help equip a hospital simulation suite that will include a nurses’ station, four standard hospital rooms, an ER/trauma room, a labor and delivery room, a room for critical care, and a home health simulation room.  Each of the rooms will include a computerized patient simulator and video cameras to record students as they offer care to the “patients.”

“We are very grateful to the James A. ‘Buddy’ Davidson Charitable Foundation for its generous support of the new nursing education center,” said Dr. Randy O’Rear, UMHB president.  “The equipment provided through this grant will elevate an already outstanding program to new levels of excellence in nursing education.  Our students’ work with these simulators will help them act quickly and accurately when they encounter the situations in real life.  Through the use of this equipment provided by the Davidson Foundation, our students will develop the skills needed to provide the highest level of care for their patients.”

Construction on the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center began in October.  The three story facility will offer 76,100 square feet of space for the classrooms, laboratories, and offices of the Scott & White College of Nursing at UMHB.  Plans call for the $20-million project to be complete by spring 2013. 

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