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Kokomo couple supports Ivy Tech students with scholarship, nursing classroom

Bill and Barb Lambert’s gifts inspired by daughter who is a nurse

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The new William and Barbara Lambert Nursing Simulation Classroom in Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new Healthcare Professions Center is named in honor of two community-minded Kokomo residents whose donation is designed to recognize the value of the College’s healthcare program.

The Lamberts also have pledged funds to endow the William and Barbara Lambert Nursing Scholarship to provide financial support to nursing students here.

“I see the great good that Ivy Tech does for our entire community,” Lambert said in describing the impetus for the donations. “We are glad we are able to help make education possible for students who might not otherwise be able to attend.”

Bill and Barbara met in a government class at Indiana University Bloomington in 1954. It wasn’t love at first site for Barbara, a native of Kokomo, or Bill, who grew up in Indianapolis. But then came a date to the Indianapolis 500. Unfortunately, Barb became the first visitor to the infield hospital that day after being hit by debris from a wreck low in Turn 1; that rather dramatically re-started a romance now in its seventh decade.

Both went on to graduate from IU, getting married and ending up in California thanks to Bill’s service in the United States Air Force. In 1960, Barb’s father convinced them to come back to Kokomo to help him with his business, Star Building Supply. By the late ’70s, Bill became the second owner of the business and continued in that role through 2006. The Lamberts raised two daughters, who both went on to graduate from Purdue University. Bill’s community involvement included service on the Indiana University Kokomo Advisory Board and friendships grew with other community leaders, like businessman and Ivy Tech benefactor Don Thomas; former Kokomo Mayor and Ivy Tech Kokomo Chancellor Emeritus Steve Daily; and attorney Tom Trauring, a member of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus Transformation Capital Campaign Committee.

nursing simulation

The Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus Transformation Project caught their attention, especially the planned improvements for the nursing program based on inspiration from daughter Kathy Lambert Williams, who works as a surgical nurse in Carmel. On a recent tour, Barb described the new facilities as “amazing.”

Faculty and staff of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Nursing program are very grateful for the financial support for the classroom and the scholarship fund. 

“With the help from our community partners like the Lamberts, our nursing program is supplied with state-of-the-art equipment in our new Healthcare Professions Center,” said Kelly Williams, dean of the Nursing program. “The high-fidelity simulation lab allows students to have hands-on clinical experiences they may not get during their clinical rotations.

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“By practicing in a controlled environment, students gain confidence, critical thinking skills, and knowledge to provide safe, effective patient care,” Williams continued. “We are so appreciative of the support our community partners have provided to the College and our students.”

The William and Barbara Lambert Nursing Scholarship will be available to full-time students enrolled in the program at Ivy Tech sites in Kokomo, Logansport, and Peru, with preference given to Howard County residents. It will award up to $1,000 annually to two students and can be used for tuition, fees, and books.

“Every student has different financial needs. Scholarships are imperative to fill the financial gaps students may have,” Williams said. “By not having to worry about how they will pay tuition and fees, they can more clearly focus on being successful in their classes.”

The Lamberts’ gifts are part of Ivy Tech’s #THETIMEISNOW capital campaign that seeks $3 million in community support to complete the $43 million campus transformation. For more information about how you can help, contact Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo, at kkarickhoff@ivytech.edu or 765-252-5501.

 

Sidebar: Nursing simulation lab and classroom enhance education

Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new campus has been designed with labs and dedicated classrooms co-located so students can seamlessly move from lecture to hands-on experience. The Nursing Simulation Lab and the William and Barbara Lambert Nursing Simulation Classroom offer this opportunity to back up theoretical discussions with practical training. Students are able to work in a “real-life medical facility” filled with “patients” who can “breathe, cough, bleed, react to medication, give birth, and suffer pain,” thanks to the advanced simulation technology in the multi-thousand-dollar simulators.

Nursing professor Lisa Price described the various ways the simulation lab is used – starting with simulations for skills checkoffs.

“Then, with clinicals, we are able to create scenarios that will help the students apply the knowledge they are learning in lecture,” Price said. “This could include something as simple as how to give a medication to how to care for a patient with pneumonia to how to care for a post op patient or a patient with COVID to how to participate in a “code blue” situation that may involve triage of all three ‘patients.’”

Faculty and staff are continuing to learn the capabilities of their new equipment. “We are in the process of being able to utilize cameras to record the simulations for debriefing,” Price added. “Soon we’ll be able to share the recordings with other students who are unable to be in the room at the same time. The capability and flexibility of our new systems are really enhancing our program.”