Healthcare Heroes Plaza at the University of North Alabama is designed to honor UNA alumni and friends in healthcare and healthcare-related fields.

UNA Launches Healthcare Heroes Plaza as Way to Honor Healthcare Alumni and Friends

Mar. 21, 2024

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama Division of Advancement has recently launched Healthcare Heroes Plaza; the site is directly in front of the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions, which is housed in Harrison Hall, and is designed to honor UNA alumni and friends who serve in a healthcare or healthcare-related field.

The idea for the Plaza was born out of a walk on campus, according to Kevin Haslam, who is the Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the UNA Foundation.

“I was on a walk with my wife one evening, and we came around in front of Harrison Hall,” he said. “We saw the plaza and thought that it isn’t too dissimilar to Harrison Plaza. The thought struck us both that we should do here what we have done at Harrison Fountain and Plaza as part of the Legacy Initiative. This time, we will create a place to honor all workers in the healthcare professions and the money that’s raised will benefit the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions.”

With the idea in mind, Haslam worked with donors to fund the site itself, knowing the name would be Healthcare Heroes Plaza and not named for the donor. Briget McCabe, a long-time friend of the University whose mother worked as a nurse, created the endowment that will generate an annual fund for use by the College to meet its ongoing needs.

Including named bricks and plaques, the Plaza also includes opportunities to name benches and trees. At the center of the site is the Opler Clock, a gift to the University by Jack Opler to honor his wife, Nancy.

It is a site that Dr. Tera Kirkman, Dean of the College, looks at and walks daily, and it is a fitting tribute, she said, to the individuals who enter and graduate from the College prepared to go into healthcare and allied healthcare fields locally, regionally, and in facilities across the country.

“Establishing Healthcare Heroes Plaza is a tribute to the dedicated healthcare professionals who demonstrate the unwavering commitment to caring for individuals during their most vulnerable moments,” Dean Kirkman said. “The esteemed recognition accorded to nursing and healthcare-related fields in the 2023 U.S. News &World Report Jobs lilst, where they occupy top positions, emphasizes the significance and demand of these roles in our society. Despite the demanding nature and high-pressure environments in these professions, the remarkable contributions of those who serve often go unnoticed. Healthcare Heroes Plaza is a testament to their selfless dedication and offers a well-deserved acknowledgement of their invaluable service.”

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: and