Another major activity of the Foundation has been its scholarship support for nursing professionals for West Georgia Health System.
In April 1967, in response to an acute local and national need for nursing professionals, Charles D. Hudson, then serving as Vice President and a member of the Board of Trustees, led the Foundation in establishing a bold new program of nursing scholarships for the LaGrange hospital, now known as West Georgia Health System. Under the program, sorely needed scholarship funds were exchanged for commitments for desperately needed nursing services at the hospital in LaGrange.
Named for the late George E. Sims, Jr., a prominent LaGrange attorney, the Sims program, administered by West Georgia Health System, with funding provided by the Foundation, has awarded hundreds of nursing scholarships, with a total value of more than $8.4 million. At any given time, the majority of nurses at the hospital in LaGrange are graduates of the George E. Sims, Jr. Nursing Scholarship Program.
The Sims program has furnished critically important nursing professionals that have enabled West Georgia Health System to grow to where it now provides a full continuum of health care services. Such services range from prenatal care to long-term care and hospice services, a growth well demonstrated by the increase in gross patient revenues from $2.3 million in fiscal year 1967 to more than $157 million in fiscal year 2005, an increase of more than 6,800 percent!
For additional information on the George E. Sims, Jr. Nursing Scholarship Program, including an application, visit the West Georgia Health System scholarships page.
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