Last year, our founder and CEO Patricia Larrabee decided to make a lasting legacy at her alma mater, the University of Rochester, and created The Larrabee Family Nursing Scholarship. This endowed scholarship will be used to assist with educational costs for students across all programs.
Larrabee graduated from Brockport with her nursing degree in 1977. Working as a staff nurse at Rochester General Hospital, Larrabee needed a change when Monroe County was hit by a hiring freeze. This is when she applied to the UR School of Nursing’s nurse practitioner program.
At this time, the NP role had just begun in the West less than a decade prior. Although not entirely sure of what this role had in store, she found herself learning from Loretta Ford. Ford was the role’s co-creator and one of the many talented faculty at the University of Rochester.
“It’s funny how things happen for a reason,” says Larrabee, who was a member of one of the school’s first few graduating NP classes. “It was a wonderful program. We had an amazing faculty. They did a fantastic job mentoring us and teaching what we needed to know and set the stage for being lifelong learners”.
After NP school and a few years working in the Hypertension Service of the Nephrology Unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Patricia decided to turn to research full time. In 1994 she began Rochester Clinical Research. What started as a tiny 4-person operation has now grown to a company with over 60 employees, having conducted over 1,000 trials, and still expanding. RCR is proud to be a woman- and nurse-owned business – “It’s funny in this day and age that people still assume that a doctor owns the company or they’re surprised when I tell them that I own it”.
Larrabee remains proud of her UR Nursing education and was honored by the school in 2012 with its Distinguished Alumni Award. “It really was a life-changing experience.”
“There’s not only a shortage of nurses but a shortage of excellent nurses in particular. Knowing that UR Nursing graduates get a really solid skill set along with critical-thinking ability, and knowing that they make excellent nurses, I really wanted to support that,” said Larrabee.
“I really just wanted to thank and give back to the folks that did such a good job educating me and make sure folks like that are around for the next generation.”