Healthcare is a hot-button issue today.
Wherever you may place yourself on the political spectrum, it’s no secret that America is facing a healthcare crisis. Physicians, nurses and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) are in short supply.
Patricia Lanza, a friend to BMCC, understands the compelling need to fix our ailing healthcare system. She also greatly understands the importance of giving back.
Since 1999, the Lanza Family Foundation has given more than a quarter of a million dollars to BMCC for Nursing and Allied Health scholarships. To date, more than 50 students have benefited.
The scholarship provides $1,400 a semester in aid ($2, 800 per academic year). This year, seven additional Lanza scholarships will be awarded, as the application deadline is in mid-November.
In honor of Patricia Lanza’s generosity and support of the healthcare industry, recently, during a formal ceremony, BMCC named its simulation lab The Lanza Family Medical Simulation Laboratory. Accompanied by her son, Anthony, Patricia Lanza proudly attended the event.
First laboratory to be named at BMCC
According to BMCC President Antonio Pérez, Patricia Lanza’s late husband, Frank, was at BMCC on that exciting day ten years ago, when the college opened its human patient simulation lab. “The simulation lab is the first laboratory at BMCC that has been named in honor of a donor,” says Pérez.
At this state-of-the-art facility, Nursing and Allied Health instructors can set up realistic healthcare situations in which students practice and learn diagnostic and treatment techniques by interacting with life-like mannequins, including an infant.
By honing their skills in the patient simulator’s controlled environment, BMCC’s Nursing and Allied Health students will be prepared to deal with the situations they’ll encounter in operating rooms, ERs and other real-life settings.
The late Frank Lanza, a co-founder of L-3 Communications, was also an investor of METI, a technology company. BMCC’s simulation lab consists of almost all METI products, including an adult HPS, Pediatric HPS, BabySIM, 3 ECS Simulators, an ISTAN simulator, a METIMAN simulator, and a METIVISION Video system.
The Lanza scholarship program is administered through the BMCC Foundation. To qualify, recipients must complete at least one semester of study with a minimum of 12 credits at BMCC, maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate financial need.
“During my studies at BMCC, I started to experience financial difficulty and the Lanza scholarship made completing my degree possible,” says nursing alumna Danvillee Williams.
Former Lanza scholarship recipient Tomi Olaniyan, who currently attends Cornell University, found the BMCC simulation lab, “extremely helpful,” as it prepared her for the rotation she completed at Lenox Hill Hospital during her duration at BMCC.
“I did thank the Lanza family before, but if I could thank them again I would say ‘Thank you so much for the role you played in my life’,” she says. “I hope they’re in a position to help other students the way they helped me, as they’ve been a blessing for me during my time at BMCC.
A thank you plaque
An elegant sign bearing the words Lanza Family Medical Simulation Laboratory has been placed outside the entrance to the simulation lab. At the celebratory luncheon, President Perez, accompanied by Nursing and Allied Health alumni and students, presented Patricia Lanza was her own plaque.
“It says: ‘Presented to Patricia Lanza for years of generous support to the students of Borough of Manhattan Community College’,” says Pérez.
Aspiring nurse Arti Jagjit spoke at the naming ceremony. A student like Jagjit can greatly benefit from the Lanza Family Medical Simulation Laboratory and the Lanza scholarship.
“For many recipients, an academic scholarship can mean the difference between achieving their dreams and having to defer them indefinitely,” she said in her speech to the crowd. “Without such unexpected opportunities, such as the Lanza scholarships, many bright young people would have their dreams delegated to the world of make believe.
Remembering former students
Patricia Lanza, who visited the simulation lab once in the past, was “impressed” with BMCC.
“I’m amazed at how many students there are now at BMCC, and how great they are,” she says.
Mrs. Lanza also awards nursing scholarships in Westchester County, has donated to areas in Africa with health concerns, and even makes donations to The Bronx Zoo.
One of her fondest memories was when a student contacted her after the student graduated with a nursing degree. “One of the first scholarship recipients took me out to lunch after she graduated college. I never forgot that,” recalls Lanza. “It’s a pleasure to meet some of the students we’ve helped over the years.”