WWII Vet Gifts $2 Million to Nursing School

A flight nursing school program has been promised $2 million in funding following the death of military aviator and World War II veteran, Dorothy E. Ebersbach in November.

Dorothy pledged the money to Case Western Reserve University’s nursing school to create a new flight program named the Dorothy Ebersbach Academic Center for Flight Nursing.

The new nursing school program is expected to take the current flight nursing program’s mission and expand it.

Currently, the flight nursing schools mission is to train nursing students that are close to graduation in providing on-site care and care during transportation to hospitals.

Dorothy was one of only 1,000 women to be accepted and called to duty in the 1943 Women Airforce Service Pilots team. The team was the first female squadron trained to fly military aircraft in the U.S. She was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 2009 for her bravery during World War II.

Nursing was her passion, say friends of Dorothy who are not surprised by her generous gift to the nursing school.

“The flight nursing program at Case Western Reserve embodies Dorothy’s spirit and that of her generation,” said long-time friend Gayla Russell and the co-trustee of her estate.

The nursing school provides a master’s level program with clinical courses in advance practices. Students intern at the hospital and must go along with flight teams during critical missions to learn real-world application of their advanced skills. Students at the nursing school must work up to 30,000 feet above the ground and practice in real life scenarios with the Cleveland Clinic as part of their practical applications. ¬†Nurses that graduate the nursing school are well versed in intervention and acute care nursing, making the worst situations manageable.

The nursing school was founded in 2002 and is proud of its non-traditional nursing academics; something clinical director Christopher Manacci says the school and Dorothy have in common.