Carle donates $100,000 to Parkland to help elder care

Carle donates $100,000 to Parkland to help elder care

CHAMPAIGN – Carle Foundation Hospital is giving $100,000 to Parkland College to improve the health care of elderly residents.

Kris Young, Parkland's vice president for academic services, announced the gift to Parkland's board of trustees at their Wednesday night meeting.

Young said Carle hospital administrators were concerned about how health care needs to adjust to serve an aging population.

"One of Carle's motivations is awareness that lots of people are going to want to stay in their homes, and can stay in their homes with some assistance," she said. "That's the driving force."

Young said Parkland is still exploring how the money will be used, but one suggestion has been to provide scholarships for students who will train to become certified nursing aides or licensed practical nurses specializing in home health care.

Young also announced several other initiatives by Carle. She said the hospital will make some of its nurses with master's degrees available to teach Parkland nursing students. It will also endow a full-time faculty position in nursing at Parkland. The college will do a search for a tenure-track faculty member this fall, and that person will begin teaching in January, Young said.

Carle hospital also renewed some support it has been providing for several years. It pledged to continue providing scholarships for students going into the medical field, mostly as nurses, for the next five years. The hospital provides a total of $100,000 annually for 20 scholarships for freshmen and 20 for sophomores.

It also will continue to support a position to recruit students to enter health care professions.

In other business:

– Trustees approved the 2008-09 budget. It shows about $50.8 million in revenue in its operating fund and about $65.7 million in revenue overall. On the expenditure side, the budget shows the college will spend almost $53 million in its operating fund and about $68.4 million overall.

The deficit is due to two ongoing projects – the renovation of the H Wing in the old K's Merchandise Mart building on Mattis Avenue for the health professions programs, and the new computer system for administrative functions. The money for the projects was included in last year's budget, said Parkland Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles, but because the projects aren't completed, some of the money is being spent in the current fiscal year, meaning it shows up in the expenditures in the new budget.

Randles said the budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, which began July 1, is similar to last year's.

– Parkland had a record enrollment this summer, said Mike Henry, director of admissions and enrollment management. It had 5,601 students, up 4.6 percent from the previous summer. Full-time enrollment increased by about 8 percent.

More than half of those students were enrolled in online programs for the first time, Henry said.

The number of students enrolled for the fall semester – 9,290 – is down slightly, Henry said, while full-time enrollment is up. He thinks gas prices have reduced the number of non-degree students taking classes for professional development or personal interest.

– Trustees approved raising fees for Parkland's Child Development Lab. Fees increased by $1 to $2 per day because of the center's increasing costs. Parents pay fees on a sliding scale based on income. They range from $20 to $35 for a half day of care to $29 to $45 for a full day.

The fees are effective Oct. 1.

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