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Chaminade using gifts to start nursing major


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POSTED: Friday, November 27, 2009

Chaminade University has received $6 million in endowments from two benefactors that will be used to open an undergraduate nursing program next year.

Dr. Edison Miyawaki pledged a gift of $5 million for establishment of the program, which will be named the Sallie Y. Miyawaki School of Nursing in honor of his late wife, who was a registered nurse. The Honolulu physician is a member of the Chaminade board of regents.

Honolulu dentist Lawrence Tseu, also a regent at the Catholic university, pledged a $1 million gift to building the facility, which will be called the Dr. Lawrence and BoHing Chan Tseu Center for Nurse Education. He said he is honoring his late wife and “;to show appreciation for the nurses who cared for my wife in her final days.”;

Helen Turner, dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division, said, “;Thanksgiving came early at Chaminade.”;

She said “;there is a global shortage of nurses”; and that the idea of a nursing program, under discussion for five years, has been in the planning stage for two years.

“;The emphasis of our program will be on care of the aging and rural and community care,”; Turner said. Chaminade already recruits students from Pacific islands including Samoa, Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia. “;If we take students from those areas and train them to go back and practice in their communities, it will be a significant contribution,”; she said.

The proposed program has been presented to the Hawaii State Board of Nursing and will be taken to the board in February for a second stage in the approval process.

If approved, the first class in the program for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing will begin next fall.

Stephanie Genz, associate dean of nursing, said the Tseu gift will be used to renovate science teaching and research laboratories and complete new facilities including “;state-of the-art nursing skills laboratories and a sophisticated simulation suite”; where nursing students will work with robots.

The school will be named for Sallie Yashiki Miyawaki, who died in October 2007. After graduating from the former Queen's Hospital School of Nursing, she worked at mainland hospitals. She held a supervisory position at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston before returning to Hawaii.