Each year, the SLCC Foundation honors its strongest supporters with the prestigious Benefactor of the Year Award. The SLCC Foundation has named LHC Group and the Myers Family Foundation as its 2022-23 awardees.
Since 2016, LHC Group and the Myers Family Foundation have partnered with SLCC on a number of projects and initiatives. The partnership began with LHC Group investing in a naming opportunity within the college’s new Health & Sciences Building at its main campus in Lafayette. Recognizing a critical need for a pipeline of healthcare workers, both locally and nationally, LHC Group understood the importance of collaborating with Acadiana’s community college.
After the Health & Sciences Building construction was completed in 2017, the company partnered with the college to develop the nation’s first home health training lab. As healthcare increasingly moves into the home, SLCC has committed to training and educating students who are knowledgeable and well-rounded to work not only in clinics and hospitals, but in patients’ homes as well.
In early 2020, SLCC, LHC Group, and the Myers Family Foundation announced a five-year project called “A Legacy of Caring in the Home and Community.” The $2.5 million funding behind the project represented the largest private investment in a community college in Louisiana to date.
The project included the creation of additional home health labs across SLCC’s rural campuses to provide hands-on training and skills for healthcare students in Acadiana’s remote areas. Four of the six labs have been completed, and the remaining two are scheduled to be completed in 2023. During the Fall 2022 semester, the home health labs had 622 unique touches by students.
Throughout the project’s progression, SLCC has also created a large-scale scholarship program for healthcare students, infused home health education and training into 14 nursing courses, provided home health training opportunities to SLCC’s nursing faculty, and established six endowed professorships to support the recruitment and retention of exemplary nursing faculty.
Early next year, the project will create the state’s first community college endowed chair, which will focus its activities on nursing and home health.
LHC Group is a leading national provider of in-home healthcare services founded in Acadiana and based in Lafayette. Its operations employ more than 29,000 employees across 37 states and the District of Columbia.
“The legacy that LHC Group and the Myers Family Foundation have created in South Louisiana through the projects within our college is immeasurable,” said Lana Fontenot, executive director of the SLCC Foundation. “Their vision and passion for helping people have materialized in ways that will benefit tens of thousands of students – and eventually the healthcare workforce – for years to come.”
“Investing in the right kind of local higher education raises the floor for our entire region,” said Keith Myers, chairman and CEO of LHC Group. “We are proud to work alongside our partners at SLCC and honored to receive this recognition. Like SLCC, LHC Group and the Myers Family Foundation believe in Acadiana’s tremendous potential as a center of healthcare entrepreneurship and innovation.”
The Benefactor of the Year award is the sixth for the SLCC Foundation, where an outstanding partnership is recognized each year. The College plans to recognize LHC Group and the Myers Family Foundation during a ceremony later this spring. Previous honorees include COX, Gulf Coast Bank, the Hugh and Byrnes Young Foundation, Ochsner Lafayette General (formerly Lafayette General Health), and Elder Outreach.