Wallace and Schmidt establish scholarship endowment for Nursing students
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Wallace and Schmidt establish scholarship endowment for Nursing students

Patti Wallace and Chris Schmidt of Schmidt Wallace Health Care Management have established the Patti Wallace Enhancing Lives Endowed Scholarship for undergraduate students enrolled in the Auburn Montgomery School of Nursing.

Wallace started her career in the nursing and rehabilitation profession as a certified nursing assistant, earning money to pay for classes at Duke University. She eventually earned an undergraduate degree and later a master’s degree in social work from Atlanta University and was hired as activity director at Moody Nursing Home in Decatur, Ga.

Because of her energy, drive and leadership skills, Wallace was promoted to social services director, assistant administrator, and then administrator of the Moody facility. She became a federal nursing home inspector and then was hired to manage and operate 10 skilled nursing facilities for a group of investors in Georgia. Wallace was so successful in this effort that, in 1986, she received a call from a nursing home owner in Montgomery to turn around the largest facility in the state that was being closed by the state health department. She accepted the challenge on the grounds that she become the operator of the facility with her own company.

Wallace and her coworker Libby Alford moved from Georgia to Montgomery and took the facility from 10 patients all the way to its capacity of 284 within one year. The facility established a good reputation with the community and the health department. Today, she and her son Chris Schmidt own Schmidt Wallace Health Care, which operates four skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Alabama: Hillview Terrace Health and Rehab in Montgomery; Shelby Ridge Health and Rehab in Alabaster; Talladega Health and Rehab in Talladega; and Albertville Health and Rehab in Albertville.

Each facility offers dedicated intensive rehab units and skilled nursing services to the patients. Schmidt Wallace Health Care takes care of more than 660 patients with a team of more than 900 employees in the four facilities.

Wallace is a pioneer in providing rehabilitation services in the skilled nursing facility. She believes in putting the patient first, enhancing patients' and employees' lives, hiring young energetic people and training them in her ways, and providing only the best quality of care to the patients and customers.

The Patti Wallace Enhancing Lives Endowed Scholarship is established in honor of Wallace's accomplishments and mission in life.

"We are very grateful to Patti and Chris for this generous contribution that will allow prospective nurses to fulfill their dreams," said Chancellor John G. Veres III. "Their investment will ultimately improve the care provided to patients in Alabama and benefit all of us."

Endowed Named Scholarship levels are established by the Auburn University Foundation with a minimum contribution of $25,000. Funding at the major gift level can be spread over a five-year period. Once it reaches the minimum level, the endowment funding is permanent; investment proceeds are then used to award scholarship assistance for eligible students.

Aug. 5, 2013


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