When Lura Powell and her husband, Art King, moved to the Tri-Cities in 2000, it was on the three-to-five year plan, like many Tri Cities recruits. Yet, when she finished her work as director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in late 2002, they made the decision to make this community their home.
“We wanted to stay here because of the people who live here,” she said. “This is an absolutely wonderful, giving community.”
Among those who are giving and contributing to so many important efforts are Lura and Art themselves.
Locally, Lura has served on a variety of boards and committees, including the United Way of Benton-Franklin Counties and the Tri-City Development Council. She also served on the Kadlec Medical Center Board of Directors and is a member of the Washington State University Board of Regents.
Art is also well known in the community for his volunteer efforts. He served as the unpaid executive director of the Tri-Cities Food Bank and was named Kennewick Man of the Year. In 2009, he earned the prestigious Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.
With so many opportunities to give and support important efforts within the community, Lura and Art chose to contribute to Kadlec Foundation’s campaign to expand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“For us, one contribution we wanted to make was to the new NICU,” said Lura. “We have young grandkids, and we’ve been so blessed that none of them have needed this type of facility. But we’ve heard so many stories about parents whose babies have been born early and how important the NICU is.”
They also have confidence in how Kadlec Foundation would use any contribution.
“We know that the Foundation has a long history of being very effective and efficient in the use of gifts for our community’s needs,” Lura said. “We’ve been blessed and want to give back,” she said.
For Lura and Art, supporting initiatives that strengthen the health care of our community are efforts to support the entire community.
“High-quality health care in a community is very important,” she said. “It is one of the keys to the economic success of that community. It is important to have a broad-based health care system to attract new businesses and to recruit good employees.”
As a WSU Regent, Lura recently represented the university at the announcement of Kadlec’s gift to WSU-Tri-Cities to enhance its nursing education.
“This gift will make an enormous difference in the ability of WSU to attract top level faculty to the program and build a strong, expanded nursing program in the Tri-Cities,” she said. “It will have a major impact on the health care in our community.
“The unique way that Kadlec and WSU have structured the gift as a public-private partnership between Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Kadlec Foundation, and WSU Tri-Cities may become a model across the country,” Lura said.