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Shock the World Campaign

       

Aging population an issue that unites Legend Senior Living with WSU College of Health Professions


John See
Dan Loon, vice president of advancement and education at Legend Senior Living, gives Ashley Schalk, a student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Wichita State, a tour of Regent Park Rehabilitation and Healthcare, a Legend facility for older adults in east Wichita.
     As a company serving older adults, Legend Senior Living is well aware of the need for health care professionals dedicated to that burgeoning demographic. Through its relationship with the WSU College of Health Professions, the company hopes it can help students understand the need, too.

     “If you want to participate in this field, you’ll have the wind at your back for job opportunities,” said Tim Buchanan, founder and CEO of Legend Senior Living. “We hope to show WSU students how the knowledge they’re acquiring can be applied to the field of senior living.”

     Legend Senior Living has provided a gift of $75,000 to create the Legend Fellows Program at Wichita State, aimed at supporting students in the College of Health Professions who have an interest in health-related issues affecting older adults. Beginning this fall, one student each from the School of Nursing and the Aging Studies department will be selected to receive the fellowship. Other departments within the college may be included in future years.

     The students will be expected to work on projects that address some of the challenges facing the older adult care industry, such as ways to enrich the lives of senior adults, strategies for reducing hospital admissions and ways for health care workers to avoid job burnout.

     Buchanan and Dan Loon, a Legend executive who graduated from Wichita State, are aware of the College of Health Profession’s excellent reputation and would like to see it place greater emphasis on health care for an aging population.

     “WSU has a tremendous track record for graduating high-quality individuals,” Buchanan said. “We want to support that because we know how substantial the need is for highly skilled people throughout our industry.”

     The U.S. Labor Department estimates that between now and 2025, the job market for the senior living industry will grow by 44 percent, Loon said.

     In the WSU School of Nursing, the Legend Fellows Program will be offered to students in the Doctor of Nursing Program, said Victoria Mosack, the school’s chair.

     “This was a big dream for us – to provide our students with this kind of support and opportunity is huge,” she said. “And being able to focus on a need in the aging population makes it even more meaningful.”