news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb College of Health Sciences Receives $150,000 from The Cannon Foundation

health sciences building

Grant Provides Latest Technology for Students in Nursing, Physician Assistant Studies and Exercise Science

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Throughout North and South Carolina, the healthcare industry is experiencing unprecedented growth. The high demand for skilled professionals requires that Gardner-Webb University’s College of Health Sciences (CoHS) work diligently to keep pace with the growing demand for healthcare professionals. To meet this need, the CoHS received a $150,000 grant from The Cannon Foundation designed to strengthen the educational experience for students in the Hunt School of Nursing (HSON), Department of Physician Assistant Studies and the Department of Exercise Science.

According to Dr. Nicole Waters, associate provost of CoHs, The Cannon Foundation grant is an encouragement to the faculty and staff and empowers them with the necessary equipment to provide students high-quality instruction and advanced training. “We want to express our gratitude and thanks to The Cannon Foundation for meeting a need in our health sciences education programs,” Waters affirmed. “Thanks to the new technological additions made possible by the Cannon grant, we are confident our students will be better prepared upon graduation to be the healthcare providers that all desire and need in local communities. We will continue to be good stewards of our gift as this equipment will train students for years to come.”

A Sim model by Laerdal in the simulation lab at the College of Health Sciences.

The grant purchased the latest technology in simulation equipment and handheld ultrasound machines. The three Sim models by Laerdal are the industry standard for effective training in a classroom setting. They provide students with safe, realistic and invaluable hands-on experiences using machinery that emulates real-world situations they will encounter in their practice.

The 12 Butterfly iQ Lightning Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS)—along with the corresponding five-year licenses—are paired with 12 new iPads. Being ultra-mobile, POCUS can be used at a patient’s bedside and provide an instant diagnosis. This means patients spend less time waiting for treatment, which can be crucial in many cases. Using POCUS also saves the patient from having to pay for more expensive diagnostic tests, such as CT and MRI, when ultrasound is sufficient for making accurate diagnoses. Recently, the American Medical Association committed to promoting POCUS, and Gardner-Webb’s CoHS programs concur with this endorsement as an effective alternative means to enhance providers’ skills.

Students will graduate from GWU equipped with advanced training on Sim and POCUS equipment that better prepares them for clinical settings. The effectiveness of those highly-trained graduates will be demonstrated by their ability to provide accurate diagnoses.

A mom and baby Sim model by Laerdal in the simulation lab at the College of Health Sciences.

“We received this grant on the eve of one of the most challenging years ever in higher education and healthcare—timing that illuminated The Cannon Foundation’s impact on the College of Health Sciences,” reflected Nate Evans, vice president for Advancement. “The Foundation’s focus on higher education bolstered and empowered Gardner-Webb University’s ability to train and prepare health care professionals who will provide excellent patient care for years to come.”

This project will be sustained by Gardner-Webb’s commitment to the health sciences. The University has invested more than $6 million in the facility and will continue refining its strengths. For more than 50 years, the HSON has pursued its commitment to nursing education and healthcare. The CoHS, now featuring the PA program and the Department of Exercise Science, has established an excellent reputation in the healthcare community. The addition of updated Sim and POCUS equipment into all three programs gives the CoHS a recruiting edge in attracting top-tier students. Recruiting high-level students significantly increases both the likelihood of the program’s sustainability and its overall caliber.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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