McLeod Health Partners in Nursing Education Programs


Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) Nursing Student and McLeod Employee Delma Carvajal (at center) presents a donation from McLeod Health to the FDTC Nursing Program. Pictured from left to right are Tavy Smalls, McLeod Healthcare Recruiter; Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center; Heather Grier, Director of Talent Management, McLeod Health; Tim Hess, McLeod Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Training; Dr. Ben Dillard, President of FDTC; .Jill Lewis, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at FDTC; and Dr. Suresh Tiwari, Vice President of Academic Affairs for FDTC.

Contributions to Florence-Darlington Technical College and
Francis Marion University will help insure nurses for the region.

As a partner in nursing education for the region, McLeod Health has made continuing contributions to two area nursing schools. Support of these valuable educational offerings is again reflected in this year’s $75,000 gifts to Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) and Francis Marion University (FMU) to help maintain their nursing programs.

Nursing represents the nation’s largest health care profession and the largest single component of hospital staff. In a report from the South Carolina Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning, it is anticipated there will be a shortage of 6,400 registered nurses in South Carolina by the year 2028. Additional nurses will be needed to care for the aging population, who typically have more medical problems, than younger people.

“Some areas of the country are currently experiencing a nursing shortage,” stated Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center. “Because we have local nursing programs, we can keep that issue controlled. This is why it is vitally important to McLeod that Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University continue to educate nurses.”

Recently, McLeod representatives Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center; Tim Hess, McLeod Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Training; Delma Carvajal, FDTC Nursing Student and McLeod Employee, and Ashley Brayboy, FMU Graduate and McLeod Employee, presented the gifts and thanked the colleges for their commitment to the future recruitment and retention of skilled medical professionals in the region.

According to Derrick, nurses serve an important role in the delivery of quality health care. “McLeod recognizes the value of the nurses’ contribution in patient care,” said Derrick. “Providing patient advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, participation in shaping health policies and patient education are also key nursing roles. It is a tough job but with competent nurses as part of the medical team, McLeod is capable of carrying out its mission of providing quality health care for patients in the region.”

Because nurses are essential to health care and the region’s economy, this area is very fortunate to have nursing education programs in Florence at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Francis Marion University.

“These two programs are the foundation of recruiting for McLeod,” said Hess. “We are fortunate to have the support of two outstanding institutions. We also rely on each school for their well-educated qualified candidates.”

Florence-Darlington Technical College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) that allows students to prepare for Registered Nurse (RN) boards in five semesters.

FMU’s Department of Nursing offers a full range of nursing programs including BSN, RN to BSN, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner.

Carvajal is a nursing student at Florence-Darlington Technical College. She is on target to graduate in August 2018. Carvajal is putting her educational skills to work by serving as a McLeod Nurse Extern caring for oncology patients.

Carvajal is also a McLeod Scholarship recipient. McLeod helps nursing students reach their educational goals through scholarships to the Florence-Darlington Technical College Nursing Program. Since 2006, McLeod has awarded in excess of $340,000 in scholarship monies to Florence-Darlington Technical College nursing students.

“The McLeod Scholarship is a great support for my parents in supplementing my tuition and helping make my dream of becoming a nurse a reality,” said Carvajal. “I would encourage anyone interested in pursuing a career in nursing to never give up. Nursing can be challenging but it’s worth it.”

Brayboy, a recent graduate from Francis Marion University’s nursing program, is employed at McLeod with Emergency Services.

“I wanted to choose a career that revolved around saving lives as well as making people feel safe and cared for in their most vulnerable state,” said Brayboy. “You should have the heart to go into nursing. It isn’t just about the money; you have to want to care about people and have the willingness to understand the needs of the patients and be an advocate for the patient at all times.”
Brayboy was also a McLeod Scholarship recipient. Since 2006, McLeod has awarded in excess of $1,608,000 in scholarship monies to FMU nursing students.

“The importance of nurses in the health industry cannot be denied,” said Dr. Ben Dillard, President of FDTC. “Thanks to our partners at McLeod Health, our college will continue to provide these valuable healthcare professionals to the community.”

Jill Lewis, FDTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement, said, “McLeod Health has partnered with us since the 1970’s when FDTC launched its Associate Degree of Nursing program. McLeod is still here providing grants for our programs, crucial clinical education for our students, and in many cases, rewarding those students with well-paying jobs.”

Dr. Fred Carter, President of FMU, said this recent contribution was simply one part of a vital and longstanding partnership between the university and McLeod Health.

“McLeod has been a loyal partner and staunch supporter of FMU as the university has worked to enhance and enlarge our offerings in healthcare education over the years. McLeod’s generous, ongoing support has made nursing degrees a reality for hundreds of students, and their willingness to share facilities and provide staff for clinical work has been an absolutely critical element as we have grown our graduate-level programs. We are proud of this partnership and look forward to seeing it continue in the years ahead.”

“The relationship and financial support of nursing education is imperative to McLeod and our area,” added Derrick. “The region and the state need these nurses. They are the lifeblood in the provision of top quality, competent health care in our community.”