Go back

APSU names nursing floor after Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation

 CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A few years ago, Kristin Meeks was worried about her future. The Austin Peay State University student worked two jobs to help pay for school, but she’d need more free time if she wanted to enroll in APSU’s prestigious School of Nursing.

“Nursing is my calling because I’ve always been drawn to science and to helping people,” she said. “But the program is really demanding, so you don’t have a lot of extra time to work.”

 CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A few years ago, Kristin Meeks was worried about her future. The Austin Peay State University student worked two jobs to help pay for school, but she’d need more free time if she wanted to enroll in APSU’s prestigious School of Nursing.

“Nursing is my calling because I’ve always been drawn to science and to helping people,” she said. “But the program is really demanding, so you don’t have a lot of extra time to work.”

This May, Meeks will graduate from APSU with her nursing degree, and she credits the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation with helping make that happen. In the last six years, that organization had donated $1.6 million to the University’s School of Nursing, providing numerous resources and scholarships for deserving students like Meeks.

            On Thursday afternoon, APSU President Alisa White officially thanked the foundation for its support by naming the third floor of the McCord Building, which houses the APSU School of Nursing, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation Nursing Floor.

 “The foundation decided that Austin Peay was worth investing in,” White said. “What you do to support our University is absolutely huge.”

Over the years, the foundation has funded generous scholarships for undergraduate and graduate nursing students, with the stipulation that they stay in the region to work after they graduate.

“Our students are out there, providing care to our region, to our community, and it’s exciting to know they’re out there because you help get them there,” Dr. Grace Moodt, interim chair of the APSU School of Nursing, said.

The foundation’s grants also allow APSU nursing faculty and students to staff the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center on Dover Road. Over the last year, that clinic has provided help to thousands of low-income and uninsured patients suffering from complications with diabetes. Joey Smith, foundation board member and Montgomery County Public Health director, said the foundation invests in APSU to improve the health of all local citizens.

“We know that access to care is an issue in our community,” he said. “Knowing that we can help folks get access to care, prevent complications from disease and keep them out of the ER, is a major thing.”

During Thursday’s ceremony, a new sign was unveiled, designating the floor as the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation Nursing Floor. For Meeks, the name will serve as a reminder of the assistance she’s received during her time as a nursing student.

“It just brings more of the realization of what is supplied to me and the other students in the program,” she said.

Several nursing professors and students attended the ceremony to personally thank foundation members for their support.

“We want to hear that people are impacted by the money the foundation is providing them,” Priscilla Story, a foundation board member, said. “The students, they’re getting real-life experience. They leave here ready to work because of the funding and experience they’re getting.”