Published on April 11, 2012 by Mary Wimberley  

Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing will celebrate a longtime Birmingham anesthesiologist and his wife when it dedicates the Dr. and Mrs. Lonnie W. Funderburg Operating Room Tuesday, April 17.

The operating room is located in the nursing school's Simulation Center in Bashinsky Field House. Alumni and friends of the nurse anesthesia program provided funding to name the room in appreciation for Dr. and Mrs. Funderburg and their commitment to the program.

The 4:30 p.m. ceremony will honor Mrs. Mary Funderburg and the memory of her late husband, who laid the foundation for the nursing school's current nurse anesthesia program.

Dr. Funderburg, who died in 2009, provided leadership for training nurse anesthetists during his 32 years as director of anesthesia at Birmingham Baptist Hospitals. In the mid-1970s, he helped launch Samford's baccalaureate nurse anesthesia program, which he directed until it ended in 1985. 

The Samford nurse anesthesia program is now an accredited master's degree level course of study that prepares students to sit for the nurse anesthesia national certification examination.

Dr. Funderburg was founder and president of Anesthesiologists Associates, P.C. He and his wife, both 1942 Samford graduates and faithful alumni, shared a passion for medical missions and serving individuals who do not have access to quality healthcare.

"The operating room will serve as recognition of their commitment to the role of the nurse anesthetist and the patients they serve," said nursing dean Dr. Nena F. Sanders.

"Dr. Funderburg was a leader in the practice of anesthesia and the education of nurse anesthetists," said Sanders.  "He was committed to excellence in clinical practice, and expected the graduates of his nurse anesthesia program to be of the highest quality."

"The anesthesia simulation suite," she said, "provides our students with a state of the art learning environment that will contribute to the preparation of our graduates and their ability to perform as exemplar practitioners."

Funds contributed to name the room will be used to maintain the simulation technology utilized in the operating room. 

"The sophisticated technology requires frequent updates and maintenance, and the gift will ensure that these updates continue," said Sanders.



Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.