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A child of parents who operated a nursing home, Vida Huber learned early in life the meaning of service to others. So profound was her satisfaction from caring for others, she made it her life's work. But Huber, former head of JMU's nursing department and associate dean in the College of Integrated Science and Technology at the time of her death in November 2005, went much further than doing what only she on her own could do. Her vision for serving many people with a variety of needs led to the formation of JMU's Institute for the Innovation in Health and Human Services, a collaboration of all the university's various health and human service programs. "Vida was very much committed and motivated to help bring about opportunities on this campus where individuals preparing to be professionals in various health and human services fields could learn to work together because she knew when it came to the real world, so to speak, that's what the real world is all about. You don't work in isolation. The nurse practitioner has to interact with the social worker, interact with the psychologist, with the medical doctor. And Vida knew the more that we could do to offer those opportunities to our students, that was really going to give them a leg up," said Dr. Jerry Benson, dean of CISAT. Huber's contributions to the university, its students and the surrounding community live on through IHHSS, its staff and students.
"Service is at the heart of my philosophy of life, and I believe that it is through service to others that we ourselves become more whole."— Vida Huber, from her remarks upon receiving the James Madison Citizenship Award, March 15, 2002.