Southeast Scholarship Fund to Honor Beatrice and Jack Cope
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College has established a scholarship fund named in honor of the late Beatrice and Jack Cope. Both mother and son were well known for providing exemplary healthcare for residents of Cumberland, Benham, Lynch, and the surrounding area for many years.
Beatrice Cope, a registered nurse and healthcare administrator, provided leadership at the Lynch Clinic for over forty years prior to its closure in the late 90’s when it was merged into the Tri-City Medical Clinic in Cumberland.
During her long tenure in Lynch, the clinic not only provided a full spectrum of health care services for areas citizens, but it also worked closely with the coal mining industry, including an affiliation with the United Mine Workers of America to serve the pharmaceutical needs of many of its members.
W. Bruce Ayers, who now serves on the advisory board at the Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital, under whose auspices the Tri-City Clinic falls, served on the board of directors at the Lynch Clinic when it closed.
He remembered that Mrs. Cope was always determined that the facility should provide the area with health care of the highest quality. “She was insistent that health care in this area would be a good as it was anywhere in the country,” he said.
Dr. Jack Cope, a general practitioner, began his career at the Lynch Clinic before leaving to practice in other states for several years and returned to the Tri-City Medical Clinic in December of 2002.
He is said to have quickly become a favorite of people from throughout the area, according to Pam Sheffield, APRN in family practice who worked alongside him at the clinic.
“Jack loved our area. He was one of us and returned here to share his wealth of knowledge with all who came in contact with him,” she said. Like his mother, Dr. Cope believed that patients, with whom he followed up regularly, should receive the best possible healthcare.
Sheffield also noted that Dr. Cope was dedicated to the area’s youth and loved to mentor those interested in medical careers: “He would truly be honored by this scholarship because of his commitment to students. He always encouraged them to study hard and to learn as much as they could.”
The scholarship named for the Copes will be awarded annually to a student from Harlan County who is enrolled in one of the college’s health care programs.
Southeast president, Dr. Vic Adams, said that the college was pleased to be able to honor these two outstanding health care professionals and he believed it was particularly appropriate that the “scholarship named for them would now help students who are now following in their footsteps.”
The scholarship was funded with proceeds from the sale of the former Cope home place in Lynch, which Dr. Cope had gifted to the college in 2012.
Individuals who wish to make contribution to the fund in memory of the Copes may do so, according to Dr. Michelle Dykes-Anderson, vice-president for Institutional Advancement. Checks can be mailed to: Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College at 700 College Road, Cumberland, KY 40823.
For more information, Dr. Dykes-Anderson can be reached at (606) 589-3049 or Michelle.Dykes-Anderson@kctcs.edu.