Donation from The Arthur Foundation will help build new home for Niehoff School of Nursing
MAYWOOD, Ill. - A new building that will house the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is on its way to taking up residence on the campus of Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Ill., thanks to a $10 million grant from The Arthur Foundation.
The grant constitutes more than 25 percent of the $37.5 million needed to construct and equip the new state-of-the-art building. Established in 1999, The Arthur Foundation supports high-quality, leading-edge programs in education, health care and medical research.
âI see The Arthur Foundation grant as a gift to the people of Chicagoland, and we are being asked to be the stewards of that gift,â said Mary Klotz Walker, RN, PhD, dean of Niehoff. âWe share a vision with the foundation, in which the Niehoff School of Nursing is positioned to address public health issues in this part of the city.â
Currently, the classrooms, clinics and administration offices of the school of nursing are spread out across the three campuses (Lakeshore, Water Tower and Maywood) that make up Loyola University Chicago. The new building will allow for improved collaboration among the nursing school, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and Loyola University Health System, as well as strengthen existing relationships and promote new ties with other health care facilities in the western suburbs.
âTogether with a state-of-the art facility, these relationships will help us in recruiting highly qualified faculty, students and staff to the school,â said Dr. Paul K. Whelton, president and CEO of LUHS. âIt will also help us to bring nursing preparation to an area of the city that historically hasnât had it, the near western suburbs of Chicago.â
Faculty recruitment and increasing the number of doctoral nursing candidates are especially important to the Arthur Foundation and to Niehoff. Nationally, 30 percent of nursing faculty positions are vacant, according to the Association of Academic Health Centers. Without new faculty to teach them, the national shortage of well-trained nurses cannot be addressed.
âWith this grant, the foundation is making a statement that supporting nursing education is critical,â said Dr. Jeffrey Huml, medical director of the intensive care unit at Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, Ill., and vice-chairman of The Arthur Foundation. âTo have baccalaureate-trained nurses at the bedside caring for patients is more important than ever.â
The grant continues a proud history of cooperation between two organizations with a shared commitment to education and health care. Among other projects, a 2005 Arthur Foundation grant supported the universityâs Hispanic Nurse Initiative.
The initiative provides scholarships to recruit and train students from Berwyn, Cicero and the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods in Chicago who pledge to work in Chicagoâs Latino communities for at least two years.
âWe are committed to the same social justice issues and embrace a similar vision and goal for the near western suburbs of Chicago,â Walker said. âThis extremely generous gift will help achieve that goal, as the synergy created through this gift will maximize the relationship and commitment of the two organizations.â