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Press release

Local Physician Donates $1M to Centra Foundation and Lynchburg Beacon of Hope

Published on Thursday May 25, 2023

Centra Foundation and Lynchburg Beacon of Hope are pleased to jointly announce generous gifts totaling $1 million from George A. Hurt, MD, and his wife, Cinda, Lynchburg philanthropists who are passionate about healthcare, education and giving back to their community.

The gifts build on the family’s legacy of support for local students and nurses.

“I am a firm believer that if you love our community and have the capability, you ought to give back to it in any way you can,” said Dr. Hurt. “Cinda and I are honored to invest in the young people of Lynchburg and in our nurses. We cannot think of a better way to leave a lasting mark on this community.”

A $500,000 gift to the Centra Foundation will support nursing education and development through Centra’s Virginia Henderson Institute of Clinical Excellence. The gift honors Cinda’s aunt, Virginia Avenel Henderson, a renowned nurse educator from Bedford County who is considered the foremost nurse of the 20th Century by the American Nurses Association. The Virginia Henderson Institute of Clinical Excellence provides ongoing nursing education, research opportunities and educational programs.

“We are truly grateful for their generosity,” said Dena Todd, DNP, MSN-Ed, RN, NE-BC, Centra Vice President of Clinical Excellence. “Their gift will help us continue to invest in our nurses and develop educational programs which support evidence-based care for patients and families.”

Their extraordinary donation of the same amount to Beacon of Hope will support the organization’s Stay Close, Go Far Promise Scholarships for thousands of Lynchburg City Schools graduates for a decade to come.

“The hope is to create a model of educational access for Lynchburg’s young people in perpetuity,” said Laura Hamilton, executive director of Beacon of Hope. “Through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Hurt, Beacon of Hope will expand its student support and success initiatives.”

Centra partners with Beacon of Hope in their “Stay Close, Go Far” program, which also matches students with local organizations for summer internships. Centra offers opportunities to shadow in imaging, physical therapy, nursing, culinary, ambulatory practices, laboratory and administrative departments.

A respected neurosurgeon, Dr. Hurt has served the Lynchburg community for over 50 years.

About the Centra Foundation and Support for Nursing
Established in 1993, the Centra Foundation develops and directs resources to support Centra in providing excellent care throughout our region to more than 500,000 people annually. Through generous donor support, the Centra Foundation has provided more than $100 million for Centra programs and makes a wide range of contributions toward the healthcare needs of our region by funding scholarships for nursing students, continuing education and training for clinicians, advanced technology, new and updated facilities, screenings and care for patients in need, and more.

About Beacon of Hope and the Stay Close, Go Far Initiative
In October 2018, Lynchburg Beacon of Hope, a private nonprofit, launched the Stay Close, Go Far initiative. This unprecedented community-funded universal scholarship program affords Lynchburg City School graduates in the Classes of 2019-2024 free community college at Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) or an $8,000 scholarship to pursue college or technical certification at one of the region’s accredited colleges, universities or technical certification programs, including Centra College.