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Tobacco Commission Awards Grant for Expanded Health Sciences Initiative

October 9, 2011

Averett University moved another step forward with its expanded health sciences initiative thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The money will help the University purchase specialized Laerdal equipment and supplies for simulation labs. This is the first time the University has received funding from the Tobacco Commission.

"I am proud that Averett is among the few private education institutions to receive a grant from the Tobacco Commission," said Buddy Rawley, vice president for institutional advancement, "and we are very excited they are supporting our efforts to develop new healthcare opportunities in the area. This grant affirms our expanded health sciences initiative and allows the University to continue to meet the needs of our students as well as the demands of the workforce."

The University has made great strides in the last year, including partnering with Danville Regional Medical Center (DRMC) to enhance nursing education in the Southside region. Averett will be the degree-granting institution and DRMC will provide the clinical opportunities for nursing students. The University has also hired a chair of nursing education and, including this grant, has garnered more than $2.1 million in grants for start-up funding and building renovations. This grant is the fourth major gift to the expanded health sciences initiative, and adds to significant awards from the Grant Trust, the Danville Regional Foundation and DRMC through the LifePoint Foundation.

"It is very exciting to be on the ground floor of such an exciting initiative," said Dr. Mary Condon, associate professor of nursing. "With the support of the Tobacco Commission and others who have stepped up, Averett is now able to put more pieces of the puzzle together for its expanded health sciences initiative. We are primed to share our expertise and resources for the advancement of healthcare for the region."

The simulation labs will occupy the second floor of the newly renovated Riverview Campus - the former Dimon Building in Danville's Historic Tobacco Warehouse District.