Philanthropy at Work: Caring for our Community’s Senior Citizens

Philanthropy at Work: Caring for our Community’s Senior Citizens

Florida State College at Jacksonville is well positioned to provide necessary training and real-world application to our students who wish to care for seniors and their complex health needs, thanks to the philanthropic support of many donors.

The Frisch Family has a long history of helping the community through charitable gifts and believes in the importance of serving people, a lesson that was learned during the early days of Beaver Street Fisheries. Since its beginning in 1950 as a local fish market, the company has grown to become an international supplier of frozen seafood and other frozen food items for retail, food service and wholesale accounts.

Through the Beaver Street Foundation, the family made a significant donation to help establish the Frisch Institute for Senior Care as well as scholarship opportunities for students in the program. The Institute was designed to enhance the educational experiences of nursing and massage therapy students to prepare them to address the ever-increasing demand for caregivers who are professionally qualified to serve the needs of older adults. From clinical rotations and internship opportunities at nursing homes, senior centers and assisted living facilities, to clinical and instructional labs and simulators, students of the Frisch Institute will work alongside industry experts to build a strong resume and prepare them for employment.

Additionally, the support allowed FSCJ to hire Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Sarah Llanque, whose job it is to implement and coordinate gerontological and geriatric care initiatives on behalf of the Institute. She will work to help students gain a complete understanding of the aging process while developing a career pathway and helping them to embrace the concept of working in a long-term care environment.

“The significant rate of growth for the nation’s aging population will have a profound impact on the attending need for very specific health services and health service providers,” Dr. Llanque said. “It is imperative to prepare the next generation of nursing, allied health and massage therapy students to serve this population’s needs while also engaging current health care professionals in geriatric care.”

Former vice chairman of FSCJ’s Board of Trustees Dr. Myron (Mike) Mass and his wife, Marilyn, also feel strongly about supporting older adults in our community and believe it is wise to invest in the future of their care. Dr. Mass dedicated 35 years of his life to medicine and understands the importance of ensuring a strong base of high quality caregivers is always available.

The couple chose to establish the Dr. Myron (Mike) and Marilyn Mass Nursing and Health Careers Endowed Scholarship which will provide need-based financial aid to students enrolled in a nursing or allied health program of study at FSCJ. One criteria for the scholarship is that applicants must be working toward employment at a long-term care facility, with priority given to those who wish to be employed by River Garden Senior Services.

Based on the National League for Nursing’s Model for Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors (ACES), students participating in the senior care program will use evidence-based practices to gain an understanding of the aging process which will prepare them for a future in geriatric care. Students will receive formal training in aging theories, evidence-based intervention and a practical overview of the aging field while they work toward their certificate in geriatric care. Additionally, students will benefit from a career pathway and continuing education program which will lead them to their Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Nursing.

“Due to the increasing need for quality geriatric care, we at FSCJ have made it our priority to provide the best educational resources for students in the field,” explained Cleve Warren, Florida State College at Jacksonville Foundation executive director. “The support of the Frisch Family and Dr. and Mrs. Mass has enabled us to design this new and innovative program for our students which will benefit our community now and in the future.”