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Wegmans foundation donates $5 million to support the nursing program at St. John Fisher

Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher University
St. John Fisher University
Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher University

The Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher University is getting a big financial boost. The school has received a $5 million gift from the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation.

The funding will be used to help with expanding and improving nursing instruction as well as the technology that goes along with that. 

Tricia Gatlin is the dean of the School of Nursing, and she said there is always a need for more nurses at local hospitals and many others around the country. 

“There isn’t one facility in our area that has the nursing workforce that it needs,” noted Gatlin. If you go and look at any job posting at any hospital or any community setting that actually uses nursing, you will see hundreds and hundreds of ads for nurses.”

Gatlin said this funding will also help the school stay ahead of the way students want to learn now, which often involves the latest technology. 

“What we learn in medicine and in technology, that’s constantly improving at the bedside so you have to stay cutting edge to stay abreast of what’s happening out there in the workforce but also to make sure that you engage that learner in a way that they want to learn this content,” said Gatlin.

In a statement from Wegmans president and CEO Colleen Wegman, said that “At Wegmans, we believe education creates opportunity,” and she said that Wegmans is proud to “help prepare the the next generation of nurses and health care aides to build and strengthen the health care landscape in our communities.” 

This latest gift from the Wegmans foundation comes after other large donations which includes a $5 million gift in 2005 which helped create the Wegmans School of Pharmacy and a year later, a $8 million gift which established the Wegmans School of Nursing. Both of those gifts were made by former Wegmans Chairman Bob Wegman.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.