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LHC Group’s Ginger Myers to be awarded honorary doctorate

A health care leader with a long record of community service will earn an honorary doctorate of nursing practice during the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Spring 2022 Commencement.

Ginger Myers will be awarded the honorary degree during the College of Nursing & Health Sciences’ Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 13. It will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center.

Individual ceremonies for UL Lafayette’s eight academic colleges and its Graduate School will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Cajundome and the Cajundome Convention Center.

Myers worked in a range of nursing and administrative roles in St. Landry Parish for more than two decades. During that time, she was active in the opening of the first ophthalmologic surgery center and in coordinating one of the state’s first rural health clinics.

In 1994, Myers and her husband, Keith Myers, co-founded LHC Group. It was established at the urging of community leaders who – like the couple – recognized a need for greater access to health care among aging, rural residents.

Ginger Myers was the agency’s first nurse. Today, Lafayette-based LHC Group employs 30,000 people and is a national provider of in-home health care services and innovations. LHC Group operates in 37 states and the District of Columbia and is the joint venture partner for more than 430 U.S. hospitals and health systems.

Last year, LHC Group committed $20 million over 10 years to UL Lafayette’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences, the largest private contribution the University has ever received.

"LHC Group's generosity represents not only an historic investment in the University, it also demonstrates once again their commitment to Acadiana," said Dr. Joseph Savoie, University president.

“This remarkable support will enable us to increase the opportunities we offer the future health professionals who are educated here. It will enhance our learning and teaching environments and will bolster the University’s vital contributions to health care in Acadiana,” Savoie added.

The investment resulted in the establishment of multiple endowments. They include the University’s first endowed deanship, and funds to support research and faculty development and the college’s nursing simulation lab program.

The gift also supports endowed student scholarships, and four new endowed professorships for nursing and health sciences faculty members. The donation provides for non-endowed funds for scholarship support for graduate students and a faculty addition support fund as well. It is also the lead gift to support capital enhancements for nursing and health sciences.

Earlier this year, the University honored the historic nature of LHC Group and the Myers family’s generosity by renaming the College of Nursing & Health Sciences’ Department of Nursing as the LHC Group • Myers School of Nursing.

Ginger Myers’ community service is extensive. She served as chairman of the board for the Opelousas Woman’s Club and a committee member for the St. Landry/Evangeline American Heart Association Heart Gala. Myers is a member of the executive committee for Go Red for Women, an annual American Heart Association fundraiser.

She received the St. Landry Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year Award, and belongs to the Acadiana Business Hall of Fame. Myers is honorary chairwoman of the Women’s Leadership Council of the St. Landry-Evangeline United Way. She is a member of the Homecare Association of Louisiana Hall of Honor. Myers serves on the Hospice Promise Foundation’s board.

In a letter nominating Myers for the honorary doctorate, Dr. Melinda Oberleitner, dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences, praised her “long history of public and community service and philanthropic contributions.”

“Ms. Myers, the Myers family and LHC Group has set a new standard for philanthropic engagement and support of the college and the University,” Oberleitner added.

Photo caption: Ginger Myers, who co-founded LHC Group, will be recognized with an honorary degree during the College of Nursing & Health Sciences’ Commencement ceremony on Friday, May, 13. It will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center. Photo credit: Submitted photo