When he entered into the traditionally “female” field of nursing in the 1970s, Gregory Lind experienced firsthand what it feels like to be in the minority. According to Lind, the Sinclair School of Nursing has long supported diversity and inclusivity. Now he and his wife, Diane, are helping to foster that positive, healthy environment — with a gift that helps nursing students today, in order to provide better care for patients tomorrow.
The Linds gave a $122,500 gift to the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing in 2015, creating the Gregory and Diane Lind Diversity in Nursing Program. It is aimed at establishing scholarships for underrepresented minority students pursuing undergraduate degrees in nursing. Research shows that health care staff with diverse backgrounds improves care quality and patient satisfaction, plus increases job satisfaction and staff retention.
A Seattle resident, Lind said his gift is meant to help create a sense of belonging for all nursing students at MU.
“It is evident that many people are reluctant to talk about race, and even when they do, it is difficult to move into action,” Lind said. “With this gift, Diane and I hope to move beyond mere conversation into real action.”
Lind also hopes to build on the ideals of his alma mater.
“The Sinclair School of Nursing has long been a place of diversity and inclusivity, and we want to help continue and expand that tradition,” Lind said. “All students deserve a sense of belonging, to feel safe and nurtured in their educational environment. Hopefully this gift will help foster that among nursing students.”
The Lind Diversity in Nursing Program will provide financial awards for underrepresented minority nursing students who complete a two-credit elective course on academic success. It also will provide annual stipends to student ambassadors to serve as coaches and mentors for underrepresented minority nursing students.
With its goals in place, the programs and scholarships officially rolled out in the spring 2016 semester. Judith Fitzgerald Miller, PhD, RN, dean of the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, said this gift will help support increased diversity within the school.
“Enhancing diversity is one of the core values of the Sinclair School of Nursing,” Miller said. “This program will provide financial assistance, support with implementing an academic success course as well as funding for diverse student ambassadors who will provide ongoing student mentoring. The Linds have a longstanding commitment to the Sinclair School of Nursing. We are thrilled and so grateful for their support.”
The first student to graduate from the the University of Missouri’s master’s program in nursing, Lind entered the nursing field graduated in 1980 with a specialty in family health. He has been an active member of the Sinclair School of Nursing Dean’s Advisory Council and the Capital Campaign Steering Committee and received a Citation of Merit award from the school in 2010. As an advanced registered nurse practitioner, he began his own primary care-based walk-in clinic in 1990, which currently serves more than 70 patients a day. He also provides wellness exams for firefighters at Snohomish County Fire District 1 in Everett, Washington.