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New Name for the Clinical Learning Center at the Health Sciences Complex

New Name for the Clinical Learning Center at the Health Sciences Complex

By CHUCK MASON The Daily News 783-3262 |

When Lambert Mattingly was born prematurely in a Louisville hospital in 1932, 23-year-old nurse Helen Turner took care of him.

Little did Helen Turner know that the little Mattingly baby would grow up to marry her niece, Jeanette Turner.

The second floor clinical learning center at The Medical Center-Western Kentucky University Health Science Complex was named Tuesday as the Donald R. Dizney Clinical Learning Center in Memory of Helen Turner. The longtime nurse, who became the director of nursing at what was then the Bowling Green-Warren County Hospital in Bowling Green, gave Dizney, 71, his first job in health care – as an orderly – in 1963. Turner retired in 1974 and died in 1995 at age 85.

“I’m excited to be memorializing Miss Turner,” said Dizney, founder and chairman of the board of Windermere, Fla.-based United Medical Corp., a network of acute care and psychiatric hospitals. Looking at one of the computer-controlled mannequins in a hospital bed in the clinical learning center, Dizney said he could imagine Helen Turner looking at him and asking, “Where’s the bedpan?” He also said Turner never asked someone working for her to do something that she hadn’t done herself in her nursing career.

At the naming ceremony was 81-year-old Jeanette Turner Mattingly, Lambert Mattingly’s wife. She said the gesture by Dizney to honor her aunt “touched her heart.” Lambert Mattingly died about a year ago, his wife said.

“I can’t get over Don Dizney doing this – I am just so touched. He is a generous, warm, loving person,” said Mattingly, who now lives in Tulsa, Okla. Mattingly brought several of her family members to the fete Tuesday. Mattingly said her aunt wanted nurses to have more than just the experience of their hospital work. “She wanted them to have an education.”

One thing that Turner did for the Mattinglys was house Sandra and Carla – Lambert and Jeanette’s daughters – when they attended WKU, Mattingly said. Sandra Wimer is an artist, and Carla Cates is an office manager in Norman, Okla.

Dizney and his wife, Irene, gave an undisclosed gift to the endowment, and in turn, the university chose to name the clinic after Dizney in memory of Turner, said Kathryn Costello, WKU vice president of development and alumni relations. The gift will help with enrichment activities for the WKU nursing students, Costello said.

John Bonaguro, dean of the WKU College of Health and Human Services, said the clinic consists of a larger room with 20 beds containing the computer-controlled mannequins and a smaller room with higher-functioning, computer-controlled mannequins. In the big room, the nursing students assess patients and develop skills. In the smaller room, the students react to specific hospital patient situations through the mannequins – for example, a woman giving birth or a man experiencing a heart attack.

“They can develop their skills in a safe environment,” said Mary Bennett, director of the WKU School of Nursing. “The first time they start a catheter is not at the hospital,” Bennett said.

“You can’t help but be impressed with what WKU and The Medical Center have done here,” Dizney said.

“The impact on the nurses of tomorrow is beyond worth,” said Matthew Garvey, a WKU nursing student.

Tom Turner, Helen Turner’s great-nephew, said Turner loved people and dachshunds and “was a nurse’s nurse.” He said his father placed on her tombstone: “She made a difference,” Turner said.

— Follow education reporter Chuck Mason on Twitter at schools or visit

Donald Dizney

WKU President Gary Ransdell gives a personal plaque with Helen Turner's image on it to Donald Dizney Tuesday at the Donald R. Dizney Clinical Learning Center in Memory of Helen Turner at the WKU Health Sciences Complex. Photo by Austin Anthony

Jeanette Turner Helen Turner's niece Jeanette Turner, far right, looks at a patient simulator in the Donald R. Dizney Clinical Learning Center in Memory of Helen Turner in the WKU Health Sciences Complex on Tuesday. Photo by Austin Anthony

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 Last Modified 9/25/14