Coming from a family background in health care, it comes as no surprise that Dr. Louis Levy, former provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at VSU, took an interest in the subject.
â€œMy dad was a cardiologist in New Orleans,â€ Levy said. â€œMy mother was a registered nurse, and my wife was a registered nurse. It was only natural that I would become passionate about health care.â€
Levy, who served as VSU interim president from 2011-2012, recognized VSUâ€™s need for a new building for nursing students and became an active part in securing funds for VSUâ€™s Health Sciences and Business Administration Building during his last years before retirement.
â€œFor some of my time here at VSU, I was head of a department that shared a building with the College of Nursing,â€ he said. â€œSo I know their shortages and needs are acute. A new facility has been needed for some time.â€
According to Levy, a considerable amount of his time as interim president was spent making others aware of the need for a new facility and securing the required funds.
â€œIt was both a campus-wide and community effort,â€ he said. â€œI encouraged local legislators, government officials, and university officials to support the construction of the Health Sciences and Business Administration Building.”
The new Health Science and Business Administration Building will be located on North Campus. According to Dr. Anita Hufft, dean of the College of Nursing, the new facility is necessary to prepare the health professions programs offered at VSU.
â€œIt will facilitate improved collaborations with South Georgia Medical Center and growth opportunities for inter-professional education, practice, and research,â€ Hufft said.
Levy also recognized a high degree of need for more nurses in the Georgia and Florida area and began working on bringing a new nursing scholarship to VSU.
â€œThe average age of current nurses is 40,â€ Levy said. â€œThat means in 10 years weâ€™ll have a lot of nurses retiring. But what happens if our nursing students are up to their nose in student loans or the Pell grant runs out?â€
Hufft has also noticed a shortage of nurses in South Georgia and North Florida.
â€œThe Institute of Medicine has called for an 80 percent Bachelor of Science in Nursing-prepared nursing workforce by 2020 in order for the nation to effectively provide access to quality health care among all Americans,â€ Hufft said.
According to Levy, the Dorothy Cobb Levy Scholarship in Nursing Excellence, named after his mother, will provide funds for high-achieving nursing students admitted into the profession.
The idea for the Dorothy Cobb Levy Scholarship was sparked by a research professorship in cardiology named after Levyâ€™s father at Louisiana State University medical school.
â€œA few of his friends and colleagues were able to come up with the funds for a substantial professorship,â€ Levy said. â€œThat started me thinking about developing a nursing scholarship in my motherâ€™s name.â€
Funding for the Dorothy Cobb Levy Scholarship in Nursing Excellence was initiated by Levy and his siblings. Their efforts were then matched by donors.
â€œIn the future, Iâ€™d like to see the scholarship funded at $100,000,â€ he said. â€œThat was the goal from the beginning.â€