VTICRC Awards $370,000 Grant to Mountain Empire Community College
The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission awarded a grant of $370,000 to Mountain Empire Community College at its meeting on May 21. The grant will support the development of a health care simulation laboratory to benefit students in MECC’s Registered Nursing, Licensed Practical Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, and other allied health programs.
The grant will fund facility renovations, the purchase of mannequins and software, faculty training, and supplies needed to establish the laboratory.
Currently, students at MECC who are enrolled in the Appalachian Tri-College Nursing Program must drive to Virginia Highlands Community College to utilize a healthcare simulation laboratory. Students in other health majors have very limited access to simulation opportunities.
With the establishment of a new laboratory on the Mountain Empire Community College campus, students in the Registered Nursing Program will no longer need to travel, and students in the Licensed Practical Nursing, Respiratory Therapy and other health care programs will gain new opportunities for simulation experiences.
"Once again, the Tobacco Commission is providing critical economic development tools for Southwest Virginia," said Senator Bill Carrico. "The grant of $370,000 for a healthcare simulation lab at Mountain Empire Community College is not only a major victory for MECC, but for the region as a whole. Careers in nursing and other allied health fields are on the rise in Southwest Virginia, and we need facilities that support the growing educational demands in those fields. The simulation lab at MECC is exactly the kind of facility that will produce better economic potential for our citizens, and the Tobacco Commission helped make it possible."
"The Tobacco Commission grant of $370,000 for a healthcare simulation lab at Mountain Empire Community College will help to assist students pursue their careers in nursing and other allied health fields”, said Delegate and Tobacco Commission Chairman Terry Kilgore. “Facilities that support the demands in those fields will help, not only MECC, but the entire southwest region. The Tobacco Commission has, once again, provided another avenue for economic growth.”
“Mountain Empire Community College is very grateful for the Commission’s investment in our health care programs. Simulation helps students to learn how to respond to life-threatening situations with no risk to patients”, according to Mountain Empire Community College President Scott Hamilton. “After this laboratory is operational, our students will be exposed to a wide variety of hands-on experiences in providing patient care, and will be more job-ready when they graduate.”