Private donation spreads support across multiple programs at UH Maui College
When Lee Chamberlain and Saman Dias decided to make Maui their retirement home, they hoped to make a difference as members of the community. In that spirit, they have donated more than $23,000 to the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.
A recent surgery and hospital stay for Chamberlain prompted the couple to earmark a generous $16,000 to support a new nursing “earn and learn” partnership that pairs UHMC’s Hana Career Pathways with Kaiser Permanente and ʻOhana Pacific Health.
“The CNA/MA (Certified Nursing Assistants/Medical Assistants) to PN (Practical Nurse) Bridge at UH Maui College provides an opportunity for 35 working nurse aides and medical assistants to become Licensed Practical Nurses,” said UHMC Allied Health Department Chair Mary Farmer.
“The curriculum is designed for students to work as CNAs and MAs for approximately 20 hours per week during the 12 months of nursing school so that their tuition is fully covered. This generous gift from Lee and Saman will support student learning by covering the cost of specialized software allowing the students to engage in innovative learning across the islands. The students are so grateful to be able to focus on their studies instead of working extra hours to cover that expense.”
Chamberlain said he was delighted to make the donation. “Nurses make a hospital stay bearable. Following my discharge, I had wonderful home care from another nurse. I love their caring and professionalism.”
The balance of the donation – more than $7,000 – will be divided between the college’s early childhood education program and an internship for sustainability and engineering path students to work with the County of Maui’s Chief Innovation Officer on sustainability, affordable housing, infrastructure improvement, environmental protection, job creation and green economic development. The early childhood education program will use its funds to train students and Maui’s early childhood educators on the use of balance bikes in the play yard.
“Lee is passionate about bicycling because it’s a healthy, ‘green’ activity,” said Dias. “We feel it’s important to have safe biking infrastructure on Maui and we’re hopeful the balance of our donation will help pave that path as well as helping students interested in helping the County implement innovative ‘green’ projects.”