Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Kenneys decided to make the occasion even more meaningful by giving back to places and institutions that shaped their lives. They presented the Shadyside Hospital Foundation with $100,000 to create an endowment that will assure the ongoing development of faculty for the region’s schools of nursing. Named the Joseph and Joan Pranis Kenney Endowed Conference for Excellence in Nursing Education, the gift honors Joan’s lifelong commitment to the highest quality in nursing education.
“The Kenneys are such a loving and generous couple,” says Louise Brown, executive director of the Shadyside Hospital Foundation. “Their gift is a tribute to Joan’s dedication to nursing. They wanted to see their donation make an immediate impact on nursing education.”
In addition to the $100,000, Joan Kenney provided additional funding to secure a national speaker for the 2019 faculty development conference, an annual daylong program open to nursing faculty throughout the region.
Linda Kmetz, PhD, director of the UPMC Schools of Nursing, is particularly grateful to the Kenneys. “At a time of critical need, we will be able to offer faculty a quality program that will make a difference,” she says.
Today, shortages of nursing school faculty across the country have limited student enrollment while the need for professional registered nurses continues to grow. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), more than 1,700 faculty positions remain vacant nationwide, with even more educators needed to meet the demand.
“What Joe and Joan have created is a legacy of education for nurses into the future,” Dr. Kmetz says appreciatively.