City & Government

$1.5 million gifted to support nurse residency in Oregon

EUGENE –  The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation has pledged a transformative gift of $1.5 million to support nursing at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart and PeaceHealth Peace Harbor. This contribution will help address the critical nursing shortage in our region through innovative and sustainable strategies.

“We are touched by The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation’s legacy commitment to nursing in Oregon,” said Chief Nursing Officer Heather Wall. “Their support is a vote of confidence in PeaceHealth’s support of nurses and a recognition that recruiting and growing our caregivers will facilitate excellent care and increased healthcare access when our communities need us.”

The gift will establish The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation Nurse Residency Endowment, a pivotal resource that will support the growth and development of new nurses at our PeaceHealth Oregon hospitals for years to come. The residency program focuses on the recruitment and retention of first-year nurses through education, experience, mentorship and team building. In addition, this high-engagement program includes advanced simulation training equipment/software and specialty care curriculums. The program is already showing remarkable success, retaining 93 percent of its participants in its first year, a number that has since increased to 95 percent. This gift speaks volumes about the power of dedicated nursing resources and the vital role of philanthropy in healthcare.

The Nurse Residency program’s partnership with 23 regional and nationally accredited nursing schools, including strategic alliances with Lane Community College and Bushnell University, highlights our commitment to attracting top-tier nursing talent. Through The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation Nurse Residency Endowment, we are not just filling positions, but fostering a community of skilled professionals equipped with the education and support to meet the health needs of our region.

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