Fairmont State University School of Nursing Receives Funding from Milan Puskar Foundation to Provide Care to Local Homeless Population

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Fairmont State University School of Nursing received a $40,000 grant from the Milan Puskar Foundation to support nursing students who will provide clinics and COVID-19 health and safety kits for the homeless population in Marion and Harrison Counties.

“One of the major directives that Milan Puskar wished to address through the Milan Puskar Foundation is the growing issue of homelessness in West Virginia,” said Kyle Pratt, the foundation’s President. “The grant to the Nursing Homeless Outreach Program will help provide basic healthcare needs to the homeless and education to nursing students and RNs on how to better understand the challenges that such individuals face in order to improve the healthcare they receive.”

Fairmont State nursing students will provide services to homeless individuals in both Marion and Harrison Counties. Pratt said the Milan Puskar Foundation board members hope that the grant to Fairmont State University will result in significant personal connection and interaction with homeless individuals that improves their lives by helping to meet some basic healthcare needs. 

“We also hope that the educational sessions for the nursing students and RNs that treat the homeless and provide awareness on COVID, including mask use and care, handwashing, and an array of other imperative information, will be valuable training that results in other meaningful and life-changing impacts,” Pratt said. 

Pratt said the goals that Fairmont State University presented were thorough, measurable, and the Milan Puskar Foundation believes that this grant will assist the University in improving the lives of homeless individuals in the North Central West Virginia region.  

“We are grateful for the opportunity to provide our students with a comprehensive nursing education while assisting those in need within our local communities,” said Laura Clayton, Fairmont State School of Nursing Dean. “This project will allow us to further serve our mission to improve the health of West Virginia and the global community through a commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching, scholarship and service.”

The Milan Puskar Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in West Virginia. This grant not only provides funding for the basic healthcare needs of the homeless in the region but also extends first-hand learning experience to existing and future healthcare workers to further improve such care. 

The Milan Puskar Foundation believes this grant encapsulates the legacy of a man who worked tirelessly throughout his life to enrich the lives of countless individuals, including the homeless. 

“Experiential learning is the hallmark of a Fairmont State education,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “This generous gift will not only give our students real-world opportunities to apply classroom knowledge, but it also gives them the chance to do what Fairmont State does best: Change lives. With the help of this grant, the Nursing Homeless Outreach Program will have an immeasurable impact on the lives of so many in our community.”

This gift was made through the Fairmont State Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that solicits and administers private donations on behalf of the Fairmont State University.

Established in 1960, the Fairmont State Foundation identifies, establishes and cultivates meaningful relationships with Fairmont State alumni and friends to further the mission and purpose of Fairmont State University. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization guided by a board of directors to steward contributions from our donors and maximize the impact of financial support for the students, faculty and staff of the University. For more information about our organization and ways that you can provide support, visit www.fsufoundation.org or call 304.534.8786.