The Clemson University School of Nursing names new honorees into the school’s Hall of Fame.
The number of Clemson University School of Nursing Hall of Fame plaques that adorn the second floor of Edwards Hall at Clemson has expanded to include two new honorees. Janet Timms, a former nurse and educator, and Gary Clary, a Clemson graduate and former South Carolina House Representative, were formally inducted into the School of Nursing Hall of Fame on May 7.
The Hall of Fame was established in 2019 to recognize those who have significantly influenced and advanced academics for the School of Nursing or the community’s health, said Kathleen Valentine, School of Nursing director and Clemson University chief academic nursing officer.
“These two individuals have both had a tremendous influence on health care in our community,” Valentine said. “We at the School of Nursing are grateful for their passion, dedication and leadership as we prepare the next generation of nurses as excellent clinicians, researchers and advocates for the public we serve.”
End-of-life and home health care nursing pioneer
Janet Timms felt called to help patients nearing the end of their life and those who needed home health care, and she shared that passion, commitment and knowledge with students at the School of Nursing during her time as a professor from 1986-2008.
An Abbeville, South Carolina, native, Timms earned a doctorate in education from the University of Georgia in 1992, a master’s and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Clemson in 1986 and 1981, respectively, and an associate arts degree from Anderson University, then called Anderson College, in 1976.
Timms’ husband, Horace, says she was proud of her education at Clemson. In several speeches to alumni and students, she told the audience, “I stand a little taller when I tell people I am a nurse. I stand a little taller when I tell people I am a Clemson graduate.”
As a nurse, leader and professor, Timms significantly honored everyone’s talents and elevated every program she touched, according to several Hall of Fame nomination letters. In her career, she worked at AnMed Health in Anderson, South Carolina, previously known as Anderson Memorial Hospital; the Anderson Area Mental Health Center; and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, where she helped develop a home health care program.
While at the School of Nursing, she developed Community Nursing Services, which was available to those in South Carolina’s Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties within a 12-mile radius of campus. This service was thought to be the first fully licensed and certified university-based program in the nation. In addition to teaching, she presented her research at regional, national and international conferences, including some at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Cambridge University in England. After retiring from Clemson in 2008, she taught at Mercer University in Georgia until 2010.
Timms was nationally and locally recognized for her work with awards including the South Carolina Hospital Association R.N. of the Year Award, the American Cancer Society of South Carolina Award for Excellence in Public Health Education, the American Nursing Association Excellence in Nursing Education, the South Carolina Nurses Foundation Ruth A. Nicholson Research Award and the South Carolina League for Nursing Award for Excellence. She also received the Award for Faculty Excellence from the Clemson University Board of Trustees in 1996, 2002 and 2007.
She served on several community boards, including the South Carolina Pain Initiative, South Carolina Nurses Association and the South Carolina Collaborative on End-of-Life Care. Timms died on March 27, 2018.
- Alumni Achievement Award from Anderson University
- American Nursing Association and South Carolina Nurses Association Search for Excellence in Nursing Award
- Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the Clemson University School of Nursing Class of 1996
- South Carolina League for Nursing Award for Excellence
- South Carolina Lung Association Community Service Award
- South Carolina Nurses Association and Arthur L. Davis Publishing Co. Writing Award
- South Carolina Nurses Association Excellence in Nursing Education Award
Civil servant and nursing champion
Gary Clary has spent his career in public service. He has worked to reform and improve the health care for South Carolina’s citizens, often in collaboration with School of Nursing faculty.
Clary earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Clemson University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. After law school, Clary served as Senate Judiciary Committee legal counsel for U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond. He was then elected as a circuit judge by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1992 and re-elected in 1996. Upon his retirement from the bench in 2002, Clary was named assistant general counsel for Extended Stay America, Inc., a Spartanburg-based Fortune 500 corporation. He was then elected to the State House of Representatives District 3 seat in 2014, where he served until 2020. As a member of the House, he championed legislation dealing with the environment and conservation as well as improving health care delivery, ethics and election reform.
As the husband of a nurse educator for over 50 years, he has been aware of the role and importance of nurses in our health care system. After his election to the South Carolina House of Representatives, the Clemson University School of Nursing contacted him to discuss a proposed bill to enhance the scope of practice for nurse practitioners.
For years, Clary advocated for the bill with state Sen. Tom Davis. The bill passed in the 2017-2018 session of the General Assembly. Act 234 expands the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and provides the underserved population of South Carolina with health services through highly trained APRNs who provide care for patients with acute and chronic health conditions. In 2019, Clary authored Act 87, which further expanded and enhanced the scope of authority and practice for APRNs.
“I am particularly proud of the strides we have made in expanding the scope of practice of APRNs in South Carolina to be an integral part of the health care delivery system,” Clary said. “I look forward to continuing to partner with the Clemson University School of Nursing to continue to expand the scope of practice for APRNs and to contribute to and support the School of Nursing in any manner that I can.”
Some of the awards he’s received for his work are the Upstate Forever Public Servant of the Year in 2017, Coalition for Access to Health Care Legislator of the Year in 2019, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Advocate State Award for Excellence in 2020.
The School of Nursing is part of the Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS), which was established in July 2016. CBSHS is a 21st-century land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; and sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
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