For over a year, I have been working on a project that has truly challenged and stretched my capabilities in new and exciting ways. I was part of a creative team who partnered with South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) to launch a national brand…and it was a lot of fun.
The for-profit arm of South Carolina Hospital Association previously known as Healthcare Staffing Services (HSS) was rebranded as Qualivis. This rebrand was necessary to further align the goals of HSS positioning the new Qualivis as a national provider of healthcare workforce solutions.
Water: The 534 Club I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean… (Ezekiel 36:25). Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. (John 7:37)
I did it…I have joined the 534 club in Cange, Haiti. Actually…I walked these stairs twice. I was nervous traveling back to Cange to capture our water story. I was anxious; anxious that I would not be able to climb these steps given our last trip. These steps almost got the best of me.
I spent the day at The Duke Endowment and found this statue of Mr. Richard Furman, the name sake of Furman University. Sarah’s great-great grandfather was named in his honor, Richard Furman Landrum. We named our son George Landrum Rettew to honor the Landrum name, her grandmother’s maiden name. Sarah’s grandmother was a Landrum, attended Furman University in the 1930’s, and spent years documenting the history of the Landrum’s including the family relationship with the Furman family.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Tahz Rufus Walker today of the Come to the Table Project funded by The Duke Endowment. Come to the Table is a program that engages the faith community in identifying and supporting initiatives that relieve hunger and sustain local agriculture.
There are many times that I am amazed after meeting a college student; thinking, they are so smart, motivated, and will do amazing things! I many times contrast this with my college experience, pondering if I had that much focus and determination in college, my path might have been so much different.
Nursing is more than a job…it is a passion. I fully understand this statement first hand, I am a product of a nurse’s salary growing up. I remember my mother as a nurse from the moment I could tie my shoes, she taught me right from wrong from a nurse’s lens.
My mom is now a Nurse Practitioner who put herself through school while I was in high school. She graduated with her BSN two years before I graduated from high school. She put herself through graduate school and then put me through graduate school. Nursing is a part of my DNA.
I had the pleasure to meet the first female professor at Furman University. What a great story! She has accomplished so much here in Greenville and at Furman University.
“Laura Thompson doesn’t walk from her office to the classroom, she dashes. In conversations, her train of thought jumps the tracks, careening from one topic of interest to another. When she says she wakes at 6 eager for another day of work, you believe her.
“They probably think I’m the crazy old plant woman,” she says. “But my goal is for students to leave Furman with a good idea of how important plants are to people.”
Thompson has taught biology at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., since 1987. When she was hired, she was her department’s first female tenure-track professor.
“She was such an infusion of infectious energy and enthusiasm, it was like a huge breath of fresh air for me,” says former student Kimberly Chappell. “She was the first real tangible example I had of what a successful woman trained in the sciences looked like.”
This past summer, I had the privilege of meeting Tony Fernandez in Chapel Hill, NC. His story has many layers and his research impacts anyone who has or will have to use EMS to transport them to a SC/NC hospital.
Tony is a former EMT. He took his knowledge and experience into a graduate fellowship where he earned his PhD. His passion comes from his father, a fire fighter who lost his life from the prolonged exposure to the toxic dust from 911. Tony’s father was a first responder to the twin towers spending months combing through twisted debris, holding out hope for survivors.
As he shared his father’s story, we could see the passion in his eyes. He wanted to use his skills and education to make access to quality care better for the people in NC and SC.
He is the research director for the EMS Performance Center in Chapel Hill, NC. His research impacts improved response times and puts life-saving equipment where it’s most needed.
Bottom-line, his research collects the data from all the EMS response times across NC and SC. He crunches the data and helps EMS all across the two states improve efficiency. Why, because seconds matter.
Remember the story I share with you last year? His name was Mr. John Fields of Seneca, SC. (Click Here to See His Story). He had a heart attack in a rural area of Oconee County. He traveled over 60 plus miles by land and air to receive life saving care in 63 minutes…the time from the moment he called 911 until the cardiologist performed the procedure to save his life at GHS.
Each minute, each second counts…making Tony Fernandez’s work that much more important. Between 2007 and 2012, The Duke Endowment distributed more than $6 million in grants to strengthen emergency medical services in North Carolina and South Carolina. This funding has helped Tony reach some amazing goals.
I had the tremendous fortune to be a part of the interview process with The Duke Endowment, capturing the story from one of their Trustees. Mr. Russell Robinson is one of those Trustees and he has many stories to tell.
I walked away with a new perspective surrounding the legacy of the Duke Endowment and Mr. James Buchanan Duke. Mr. Duke was in the tobacco business establishing the American Tobacco Company in 1890, which becomes the largest tobacco company in the world.
“James B. Duke and his brother, Ben, work together in business and in philanthropy. Their sister, Mary Duke Lyon, is an early partner in the family endeavors. With the family’s influence and support, Trinity College opens a Durham campus in 1892. In 1896, the Dukes establish a $100,000 endowment for the school with the requirement that women be admitted ‘on equal footing with men.’ Later, Trinity College became Duke University.”
Mr. Duke was later forced to close the business in the early 1900’s. But, he had a vision of how he wanted to create a legacy for years to come.
His vision was to harness the power from the Catawba River and turn it into electrical power, using the proceeds from this business to fund initiatives that support the spirit, the education, and the health of North and South Carolina.
“Duke Energy began in 1900 as the Catawba Power Company when Dr. Walker Gill Wylie and his brother financed the building of a hydroelectric power station at India Hook Shoals along the Catawba River. In need of additional funding to further his ambitious plan for construction of a series of hydroelectric power plants, Wylie convinced James Buchanan Duke to invest in the Southern Power Company, founded in 1905.”
“They felt the South’s heavy dependence on agriculture was prohibiting growth of other industries. By developing an integrated electric system of hydro-powered generating stations, they envisioned linking customers by transmission lines – and creating new opportunities for economic growth.”
Mr. Robinson shared the history of The Duke Endowment and how it’s legacy was created through the income from Duke Energy. For many years, The Duke Endowment owned majority of the shares in now Duke Energy. They have slowly divested their interest over time, re-investing in other area of the market.
The goal was to provide the financial support to create a healthy, educated, spiritually connected community. You see this in the numerous benefitiaries that are supported by The Duke Endowment. From Duke University, Duke Medical, United Methodist Church to the three other institutions Johnson C. Smith, Davidson, and Furman along with numerous hospitals and other grantees carry out the vision Mr. Duke wrote in the initial Indenture of Trust.
Mr. Robinson spent hours sharing the vision and responsibility of the Board of Trustees, the burden to carry out Mr. Duke’s Legacy. Each year, the Board of Trustees reads Mr. Duke’s Indenture of Trust (his will) as a reminder of the vision they have been empowered to carry out.
Electricity has a lot to do with health. If you live in North or South Carolina, I would be willing to bet that your community hospital has been awarded or impacted by the financial support of Mr. Duke and The Duke Endowment. All this made possible by the first hydro-electric plant on the Catawba River. This flow of power has created a long term source of support that is invested in the future health of North and South Carolina.
Thanks to Mr. Robinson for sharing this story of legacy.
Here is a great video created a few years ago, the history of James B. Duke and The Duke Endowment.