Proposed bill includes funding for NMCC health education center

17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE , Maine – Students and faculty in nursing and allied health programs at Northern Maine Community College, as well as hospitals and health care organizations throughout Aroostook County, stand to benefit from a proposed $150,000 in federal funding championed by U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.     The money, which is included in the fiscal year 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill as reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee, is designated to support the establishment of the Northern Maine Allied Health Education and Training Center on the NMCC campus.
“We are most grateful to Sens. Snowe and Collins and members of their respective staffs who stood behind us on this initial request for federal dollars to support the College and this project in particular,” said NMCC President Timothy Crowley. “The need for expansion in the allied health related fields here in northern Maine is critical. We are pleased that our Congressional Delegation recognizes and has pledged their continued support behind this important initiative.”
The project, which involves the eventual repurposing of a residence hall on the NMCC campus that would house the allied health center, carries a total cost of $4 million. The facility would include instructional laboratories and classrooms for existing programs in nursing, medical assisting and emergency medical services, as well as allow for expanded offerings in allied health professions in demand throughout the region.
“I am pleased to support the effort to establish the Northern Maine Allied Health Education and Training Center at the Northern Maine Community College,” said Collins. “Like many other states, Maine faces a nursing shortage of critical proportions. I am hopeful that this center would help address that need and allow even more students to follow their dreams of a career in medicine.”
“This is great news for Northern Maine Community College and the many students who will directly benefit from this funding,” said Snowe. “The Northern Maine Allied Health Education and Training Center will provide greater access to technology, training equipment, and enhanced classrooms to help students develop their skills. By providing students with these top-notch resources, we are giving them the tools they need to advance in the future.”
The appropriations bill, which includes the funding for NMCC, will now go to the full Senate for its consideration. If approved, NMCC will use the funds in the coming year to acquire state-of-the-art technology and the necessary training for faculty and staff to use the instructional equipment that will serve students in the nursing and allied health programs.
The current plan is to establish a temporary space in the existing area designated on campus for nursing and allied health instruction that would allow faculty and students to use the new equipment immediately. A permanent location for the technology is incorporated into the plans for the Northern Maine Allied Health Education and Training Center, which will feature “smart” technology enhanced classrooms, training equipment, computer labs, and other instructional and academic office space.
Additionally, the facility will allow NMCC to develop and offer new programs in great demand regionally, statewide and across the country, such as physical and occupational therapy assisting, radiography, medical assisting and medical coding. The latter two programs, which have been planned and approved, will enroll their first students in the coming fall semester.