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OU Nursing Receives Grant to Improve Health for Older Adults

OU Nursing Receives Grant to Improve Health for Older Adults

OKLAHOMA CITY – The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing has received a Donald W. Reynolds Foundation grant for $3.9 million to continue geriatric care initiatives. The grant will allow OU Nursing to recruit Ph.D. doctoral students with a geriatric focus committed to academic careers; provide evidence-based programming in older adult care by helping them age-in-place; and collaborate with clinical and other community systems.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation,” said OU Nursing Interim Dean Gary Loving. “The Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence is making a difference in the lives of older Oklahomans by developing expert clinician leaders, educators and researchers to support health in aging.”

Lazelle Benefield, Ph.D., R.N., director of the Reynolds Center and this award at OU Nursing, said this four-year grant will address the critical need for highly qualified nurses prepared to work toward improving the health of older adults in the state and nation. “We know that older age can be a vibrant time of life and that each year 3.5 million Baby Boomers turn 55. We also know that there are many negative myths about aging that need to be corrected. With this Donald W. Reynolds Foundation award, the College will be able to continue to educate healthcare providers and fully prepare them to implement the complex and innovative services needed to support this population group,” said Benefield. “With the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, we are proud to acknowledge the value of science and research as a means to improve the health of our citizens. Through this significant funding we are actually bridging science, research and training to improve the quality of life for older adults.”

The Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing is nationally recognized, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level programs to those interested in starting or advancing a career in the profession of nursing. With locations in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton, the College is the state’s largest nursing program and is dedicated to continuing the leadership and academic excellence that have become synonymous with the University of Oklahoma. The College of Nursing is a part of the OU Health Sciences Center, a leader in education, research and patient care and one of only four comprehensive academic health centers in the nation with seven professional colleges. To find out more, visit