YSU Honors Masternicks for Support of Nursing Education

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The nursing simulation laboratory at Youngstown State University came to be in large measure because of the generosity of the Masternick family and the university recognized that generosity Monday.

John J. Masternick, president and CEO of Windsor House Inc., Girard, responded to YSU President Jim Tressel’s words of gratitude by noting his parents met at Youngstown College in 1947, fell in love, married and had four children. “My siblings and I are grateful. We wouldn’t be here without Youngstown College,” he said to laughter.

His late father, John, earned his law degree at the Youngstown College of Law in 1954. His mother, Dorothy, had graduated from the Jameson Memorial Hospital school of nursing in New Castle, Pa., and was a nurse at North Side Hospital when she met John in a class on the history of the British Empire in Jones Hall, the CEO of Windsor House said.

After they married, Dorothy became a housewife, as was the convention in mid-20th century America, she said. Even so, she helped her husband found a chain of nursing homes that today consists of 11-skilled care homes and four assisted-living centers in northeastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.

Collectively, Windsor House employs more than 1,500. It was his mother’s attention to “cleanliness, care and nursing” that contributed to the success of Windsor House, John Masternick said.

In 2004, the Masternick Family Foundation created nursing scholarships at YSU, Tressel noted, and gave “a substantial [YSU] centennial gift [in 2008].”

At the end of his remarks, John Masternick announced that the chief financial officer of Windsor House, Ken James, had “fully funded … the Virginia M. James Scholarship in Nursing, through the Masternick Foundation, established today.” The scholarship is named for James’ wife.

The lab itself, a 1,500-square-foot classroom on the third floor of Cushwa Hall, has 10 examination tables, three manikins (special types of mannequins that are anatomical models of the human body with moveable and detachable parts) and five cameras run by instructors in the control room, said Nancy Wagner. Wagner is chairwoman of the YSU nursing department.

Two more manikins, a mother and newborn baby, are en route, she said.

From the control room, the instructors can monitor the nursing students (but the students can’t see inside the control room), direct the cameras to zoom in on their work, and use their computers to reset the manikins to any of 20 simulated situations from birth until death.

One manikin, the most complex, was named Windsor to recognize the contributions of the Masternick family.

The manikins can cough, blink, gasp and simulate other bodily functions, Wagner said.

Three nursing students, sophomore Joellen Chance of Austintown, junior Jamie Stellmar of McDonald and senior Gina March of Howland, demonstrated how they would treat manikin Isaac Morris — age 26, weight 143 pounds and 5½ feet tall – admitted to the emergency room the day before, complaining of discomfort in his chest and stomach.

Morris, an asthmatic, had been using his inhaler with increasing frequency, March informed the audience. The three students checked his blood pressure (140/80) and ability to absorb oxygen. His oxygen capacity read 94% after they placed a breathing mask over his nose and mouth. So they determined they could leave Morris until a physician arrived.

Nursing students use the lab in groups of 10 or fewer, accompanied by one or two instructors, Wagner said. Among other items of equipment the students learn to use are intravenous drips, blood pressure monitors and administrating oxygen.

As March, who played head nurse, told the audience, “We can make mistakes in a safe environment.”

Masternick, who asked that the sums his family has given to YSU not be published, said the family was surprised to learn the university wanted to hold Monday’s ceremonies. “We didn’t expect naming rights,” he said during his remarks.

Dorothy Masternick seemed touched when Tressel presented her with the plaque that will be attached to the wall outside the laboratory.

The Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, of which the nursing department is a component, has some 4,000 students, Dean Joseph Mosca noted. Since 2004, the Bitonte College has led the university in enrollment.

Eighty are enrolled in the graduate nursing program, he said.

Added Wagner, eight of the 10 faculty in her department have written research papers on the role a simulation lab plays in a nursing student’s education at both the graduate and undergraduate level. (The nursing faculty number more than 20 and the department offers courses that lead to 40 majors.)

Some faculty visited other simulated nursing labs to design the YSU lab.

“This space is a favorite of our current students,” Wagner said, “and the number of recruits has increased” because they are impressed by what they’ve seen.”

Pictured: Joe Mosca, dean of The Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, YSU President Jim Tressel, Alyssa Masternick and John Masternick.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.