Determined Nurse Bell Keeps
Clinic Open, Studies Business Side with Stanley Scholarship
Bell was recruited to Covington County from Indiana six years
ago to run a rural health care center affiliated with a local
After several years, her position was downsized. By that time,
she had seen firsthand the needs of poor people in one of Alabama's
poorer counties. So with a loyal client base, she decided to
continue the clinic on her own.
The facility served mostly "working poor" families,
said Bell, those who don't earn enough to buy their own health
insurance, but earn too much to qualify for federal programs.
"The population here is older, with many retired people
who have multiple disease processes going on," she added.
Bell holds the bachelor of science in nursing degree with nurse
practitioner certification from Purdue UniversityCalumet.
She's been a nurse for almost 25 years.
But facing the prospect of running the clinic herself, she decided
to seek additional training.
She discovered a program seemingly made to order: Samford's joint
master of business administration/master of science in nursing
degree. She enrolled in January of 1999.
Since then, she has made the three-hour drive from her Andalusia
home to Samford on a regular basis. She has completed M.S.N.
coursework in Samford's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing and
anticipates finishing M.B.A. work in the School of Business in
|Nurse Trinette Bell commutes three hours
from Andalusia each week to complete joint business/nursing graduate
After that, she will complete
nurse executive coursework and a 240-hour practicum with a health
care executive, at which point she will be among the first recipients
of the joint degree at Samford.
"I've been in medicine all these years, and it's interesting
to be in business classes with people from all professional backgrounds
and walks of life," she said.
Bell is completing her M.B.A. with the help of the Russell H.
Stanley Scholarship in Entrepreneurship. The scholarship, which
provides Bell $3,000 this year, was established in 1998 to assist
an M.B.A. student demonstrating true entrepreneurial spirit,
initiative and determination.
"When Janet Stanley endowed this scholarship in memory of
her late husband, Russ, a Samford M.B.A. graduate, she wanted
it to further the education of a deserving student entrepreneur
such as Trinette Bell," said School of Business Dean Carl
Bell opened her clinic, Liberty Health Care Centre in Florala,
in September of 1999. She is the primary health care provider,
and her staff now includes a full-time nurse and part-time receptionist.
"The clinic is growing and going well," she said in
Bell promotes preventive health care.
"Many people wait until their health situation is too bad,"
she said. "They may have problems and ignore them, which
leads to other problems. We would like to try to prevent that."
She took the name for her health care facility from a Bible verse
that refers to giving liberty to those who are held captive (Isaiah
"People are often held captive by the disease process,"
she said. "They are stuck and can't do anything else."
She hopes to offer them an alternative.