The legacy of Stephen Stoddard was honored recently with a generous contribution to UNM-Los Alamos with seed money for the creation of a program providing training for individuals who can serve as personal caregivers.

Barbara Stoddard recognized a need for caregivers in the Los Alamos community— people who can provide in-home health care and personal care to individuals. As many Los Alamos residents choose to stay here after retirement, the need for caregivers will continue to increase. 

Stoddard recently made $10,000 available to UNM-Los Alamos as seed money necessary for the creation of a new program. The current plans are for a program similar to the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program offered by UNM-Valencia.

Stoddard’s contribution to UNM-Los Alamos will be used initially to hire a subject matter expert who will help develop the program and determine equipment needs. Remaining funds will be used for purchasing needed equipment and supplies, advertising the program, and for scholarships to students who want to pursue the program.  

Home health care allows patients to live with greater independence and to avoid hospitalization. Many people, both patients and their family members, rely on in-home care to provide crucial support and enhance quality of life. As she reflected on her experience of providing care for her husband, Steve, before his death in 2013, Barbara decided that she wanted to help develop future caregivers. Her experience motivated her to reach out to UNM-Los Alamos.

“From our initial discussions, I have appreciated Barbara’s passion for this project,” Said UNM-LA Chief Executive Officer Cindy Rooney. “She recognizes a need that many of us have experienced and we are excited to develop and offer this new program to our community. We are very grateful for her encouragement and generous support to get this program started.”

Steve, a founder of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, demonstrated a high regard for education. He and Barbara recognized the need for more quality teachers and nurses. They formed a scholarship to award to an outstanding graduate of LAHS planning to major in Nursing or Education at an accredited New Mexico College or University.  

The Public Schools Foundation continues to provide the Stoddard Scholarship for Nursing and Education. With this recent contribution to establish a new program at UNM-Los Alamos, Barbara is continuing to honor her late-husband’s commitment to this community and to education.

Current plans are for the Personal Care Attendant program to be available starting in the fall of 2016. As a commitment to improving the skills of current caregivers, UNM-LA will also offer tuition waivers for up to five current caregivers to attend the AED/CPR/First Aid class that will be offered on Saturday, April 30. Contact Gabe Baca, program manager, UNM-LA Community Education at (505) 663-3400 for details.

For more information about UNM-LA, call (505) 662.0332 or visit UNM-LA