ATLANTA–Alice S. Demi, professor emerita of nursing, has committed $1 million to the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions to build Georgia State University’s first interdisciplinary health simulation center.
The center, which will bear her name, will be used to teach students in Lewis College majors, including nursing, health informatics, nutrition, occupational therapy, physical therapy and respiratory therapy.
Simulation centers and laboratories offer interprofessional education opportunities and are increasingly valuable as hospital and healthcare facility-based clinical placements become more difficult for students to secure.
“Throughout my career, I was always aware of the importance of clinically relevant learning experiences,” Demi said. “I also became increasingly aware of the difficulty in obtaining a sufficient number of clinical sites for students’ learning experiences.”
According to Dr. Huanbiao Mo, dean of the Lewis College, a National Council of State Boards of Nursing study showed up to 50 percent of traditional clinical hours could be substituted by high-quality simulation experiences for prelicensure nursing students.
During her tenure at Georgia State, Demi taught nursing at levels from bachelor’s through doctorate degrees. When she became director of the nursing school, her last position before retiring, Demi and the nursing faculty submitted and received a grant for a computerized manikin for nursing students to practice clinical experiences.
“I then saw, first hand, the many advantages of computerized clinical learning experiences,” Demi said. “I am very pleased to provide financial support for the simulation center for all students in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions.”
“As a former faculty member, Dr. Demi understands the importance of state-of-the-art facilities and resources and how they impact the educational journeys of our students,” Georgia State President Mark Becker said. “Her generosity not only ensures the successes of our students as they pursue their dreams of becoming healthcare professionals but also improves the lives of their future patients,”
Demi’s gift will also benefit nursing faculty in the short term. The first dual-purpose endowment, the $1 million gift, will be invested during the planning and design phase of the center and funds generated from that investment will be used for professional development in the School of Nursing.
Planning and design for the new simulation center will begin in fall 2021. For more information on contributing to the center funds, contact Jenni Asman, director of development, 404-413-1089, and to learn more about the Lewis College, visit lewis.gsu.edu.