Flight nursing program receives $2 million donation


The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing announced a $2 million donation to the school’s world-renowned flight nursing program, which is expected to significantly bolster it.

Greg Bokar, News Editor

This August, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing (FPB) at Case Western Reserve University announced a $2 million donation to the flight nursing program that is set to greatly embolden the world-renowned specialty curriculum.

The estate of former FPB donor Dorothy Ebersbach made the donation during the annual summer camp for flight nurse training in Hunting Valley, Ohio, raising Ebersbach’s cumulative contribution to the nursing program to $4.7 million.

The most recent donation will go towards graduate fellowships, an endowment for a program director, and undergraduate scholarships. Traditionally, all undergraduate students at FPB receive at least a partial scholarship, made possible through gifts like this.

The flight nursing center was renamed the Dorothy Ebersbach Academic Center for Flight Nursing in 2011, following a gift that allowed the program to expand its former mission.

The program offered at the center is the only one of its kind offered for nurse practitioners in the United States and is ranked first by US News and World Report for all flight nursing programs.

According to its website, the program “prepares acute care nurse practitioners to practice in unstructured environments, conducts interdisciplinary disaster response training…and conducts research to build the evidence base for practice in air medical services.”

Ebersbach earned her nursing degree from FPB in 1954 and worked as a nurse in public health until she retired in 1975. Before becoming a nurse, Ebersbach received a bachelor’s degree in education, mathematics, and English from Ohio University in 1936.

After receiving the degree, she moved to Florida where she got her pilot’s license at the University of Tampa, when she was working for her father.

When World War II began, Ebersbach joined a group called the Women Airforce Service Pilots, which involved flying planes non-combatively in many jobs that men had before they went off to war.

Ebersbach was forced out of commercial flying when the men returned from war, which is when she began her nursing education at FPB. According to the FPB website, the Dorothy Ebersbach Academic Center for Flight Nursing “merges her three loves: flying, nursing and service.”