Herbert Eglie has established the Herbert E. Eglie Patient Advocacy Fund, which will enable CHSP to devote more time and resources to train health care students to be devoted patient advocates.
Photo courtesy of: College of Health Sciences and Professions
College of Health Science and Professions students practice bedside manner during lab time in the School of Nursing.
Photo courtesy of: Ben Siegel, UCM
Aug 22, 2014
By Hailee Tavoian
“Patients need to know that they can speak up and question the care they are receiving,” said Herbert E. Eglie, 1957 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We need more [health care professionals and staff] who are willing to get involved and work together to see that patients are receiving the very best care.”
Herbert Eglie, former food service director for 32 years at Aramark (formerly ARA Services), has committed $1 million to The Ohio University Foundation to establish the Herbert E. Eglie Patient Advocacy Fund, which will enable the College of Health Sciences and Professions to devote more time and resources to train their health care students to be devoted patient advocates.
“This fund will open up a whole new area for us,” said Randy Leite, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professions. “A lot of the support we see for our college is focused support for established programs. This fund allows us the freedom to develop new programs and design them in a way that will make a meaningful impact across all health care disciplines.”
Eglie’s professional and personal experiences in hospitals and nursing homes demonstrate that medical professionals can, and often will, make decisions that are not in accordance with the desires of the patient or their family. A longtime friend of OHIO, Eglie hopes to see his alma mater be part of making a positive change in the health care industry.
“Everyone from the cleaning staff and aides on up to the doctors and nurses who are involved in patient care need to feel a responsibility to find out what the wishes [of the patient] are and strive for a better level of care,” Eglie said.
Ultimately, those who stand to benefit the most from the fund are the patients who will be treated by OHIO graduates.
“It’s one thing to encourage [faculty, staff and students] to make patient advocacy a priority; it’s another thing to be able to say ‘we can help you make it happen,’” said Leite. “Herb’s interests and support will help us to put together resources, activities, workshops and potentially even a certification program where we can host panels of current professionals and actual patients, which would be really impactful for students to see.”
A portion of Eglie’s gift will be added to the Russel W. and Ida L. Eglie Memorial Scholarship, which he established in 2007 in his parent’s memory; eleven scholarships have been awarded in the past seven years. Each year Eglie visits the Athens Campus to meet with the recipients of his scholarship and their parents.
“I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I meet the students and hear about the ways that the scholarship has helped them,” Eglie said. “I hope to continue to be involved with the students receiving the scholarship and those who will benefit [from the patient advocacy fund].”
The gift represents the vast majority of Eglie’s estate. A widower of the late Margaret R. Eglie, he knew that his two stepsons and step daughter (Fred and Kenneth Pollock and Marcia Farabee) were already financially secure, and he wanted his estate to make a lasting impact.
“I’ve done reasonably well in my life, and I want to give something back to society,” said Eglie. “These two areas [Ohio University and Patient Advocacy] are of prime concern to me.”
Eglie’s gift is part of OHIO’s The Promise Lives Campaign, which reached its goal of $450 million in support of students, faculty, programs, outreach and facilities in April—14 months ahead of the June 30, 2015 deadline. Having secured more than $464.4 million, the Campaign will continue through June 2015 and focus on increasing scholarship gifts.
“We have an obligation toward anyone who makes a gift, to be true to their vision,” said Leite. “Herb’s vision is that our graduates go out into the professional world with the knowledge of just knowing how important it is to communicate with patients on their level, and are willing to advocate for the best care possible.”