Oct. 24-Nov. 6, 2003
Vol. 33, Issue 19
Back Issues
Health System vital economic partner in community
Duty in Iraq gives nurse new sense of mission
Time to debunk the adage that children should be seen, not heard
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Nursing School aims to deepen, diversify nursing pool

Grant to help U.Va. develop historical preservation plan
Meetings scheduled on U.Va. health plan changes
Honor System needs to be overhauled, Bloomfield tells Faculty Senate
Volunteering is Madison House passion
Board sends message with salary hikes
Lawmakers back higher education but can’t agree on how to pay for it
Tracking the railroad
Nov. 20 resource fair welcomes new faculty and staff
Writer Francine Prose comes to U.Va.
Teen grad students excel in academics

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Health System vital economic partner in community

U.Va’s Health System provides jobs and medical services, as well as revenue.

Staff Report

Medicine was part of Thomas Jefferson’s plan for his University from the beginning. In 1826, Dr. Robley Dunglison was hired as one of the University’s first eight faculty members. He taught anatomy and treated local patients. But it wasn’t until 1901 that the first U.Va. Hospital was built.

The facility’s 25 beds soon were overwhelmed, and four years later a program of expansion and growth began that continues to this day. The U.Va. Health System works to sustain Jefferson’s vision combining education, research and service as a vital partner in the economic health of the community.

With a budget exceeding $665 million for the current fiscal year, a workforce of more than 5,300 employees and more than 540 beds serving patients around the state and beyond, U.Va.’s Health System supplies a steady infusion of money, jobs and health-care service to Central Virginia. Along with the Medical Center, the Health System comprises the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and the Health Services Foundation. Full story.

Duty in Iraq gives nurse new sense of mission

U.S. Army nurse Tara Spears stitches a soldier’s finger in a field hospital in Iraq.

Courtesy of Tara O. Spears
U.S. Army nurse Tara Spears stitches a soldier’s finger in a field hospital in Iraq, where she served a three-month tour. Spears is now working on her master’s degree at U.Va.’s School of Nursing.

By Matt Kelly

A combat field hospital is similar to a standard hospital — with a major exception.
“In combat you see more gunshot and shrapnel wounds,” said Army nurse Capt. Tara O. Spears, after serving three months in Iraq and Kuwait with the 86th Combat Support Hospital.

Her patients included a 5-month-old girl whose Arabic name translated to Flower. She had suffered shrapnel and burn wounds to her legs, received in an incident that killed her mother.

“We took her in and made a makeshift crib for her out of a medical supply chest,” said Spears, a 13-year Army veteran. “We kept her and took care of her legs.

Finally her aunt was found and she would stay with her and actually breast-feed her.”

After the wounds healed, Flower went home with her father.

“That was a nice, happy thing,” Spears said.

Spears, 35, a nurse in a 144-bed Army field hospital, will now incorporate her wartime medical experience into her pursuit of a master’s degree from the U.Va. School of Nursing as an acute care clinical nurse specialist with an emphasis in emergency nursing. She said her experience will help her in class, and her advanced degree will help her in future deployments. Full story.


© Copyright 2003 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

News Publications Editor
Dan Heuchert

News Graphics Editor
Rebecca Arrington

Senior Editor
Anne Bromley

Art Director
Bill Thompson

Interim Assistant Vice President for University Relations, Director, News Services
Carol Wood

Robert Brickhouse
Charlotte Crystal
Jane Ford
Lee Graves
Katherine Thompson Jackson
Matt Kelly
Fariss Samarrai

Web Editor
Karen Asher

Send questions or story suggestions to Dan Heuchert or Carol Wood or call (434) 924-7116.

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