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The University of South Carolina Upstate’s Foundation is one of 18 nonprofits to receive a grant from The Mary Black Foundation.

The $15,000 grant awarded to the USC Upstate Foundation will help to fund technology and training needs its Mary Black School of Nursing.

Dr. Katharine Gibb, interim dean of the Mary Black School of Nursing, said the grant will help to purchase technology equipment to help achieve the goal of completing the $1.1 million Simulation Center of Teaching Excellence.

“We are so pleased to receive this gift,” Gibb said. “This is the first grant we have received from the Mary Black Foundation and it will really allow us to better use our laboratory space and to enhance our teaching.”

Gibb said the labs currently use a screen that is suspended by chains and a projector that is moved around the room. As the nursing school continues to grow, welcoming 112 new nursing students during both fall and spring semester, having state-of-the-art technology in place for instruction is a must.

Gibb said a significant component to the nursing curriculum is a well-equipped Simulation Center, a safe environment to replicate clinical situations that accurately provide students and faculty the opportunity to practice, analyze and perfect their skills in patient care.

Future plans include the construction of three clinical trauma bays that will mirror ones at area hospitals. Gibb said that working in these areas will allow students the opportunity to feel more comfortable as they enter the hospital environment.

Bea Walters Smith, director of development and foundation scholarships at USC Upstate, wrote the grant detailing how the program would use the one-time grant. Smith said with every new component or piece of technology that is added, students are one step closer to the hospital environment.

“The Mary Black Foundation funds healthy initiatives in Spartanburg County,” Smith said. “USC Upstate is a front runner to those community initiatives, as we are educating students who will one day be working in the hospitals, doctors’ offices and other healthcare facilities in Spartanburg.”

The Mary Black Foundation awarded $476,255 in grants to nonprofits in Spartanburg County.

“For us to be a part of this group speaks volumes of the impact that we have in our community and the faith that the Mary Black Foundation has in our nursing program,” Smith said.

For additional information about the USC Upstate Mary Black School of Nursing or to make a donation toward this project, contact Bea Walters Smith, director of development and foundation scholarships, at 864.503.5235 or bwsmith@uscupstate.edu.

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