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GIPS molds next generation of healthcare workers with new academy

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 11:16 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Public Schools is taking their academies at Grand Island Senior High to another level, they’re partnering with CHI Health St. Francis to transform the 8th floor into a medical science academy.

“We’re just excited about what the next few months will mean as we continue to get our partners together to continue to shape out the visions, to give our students the best experience possible,” GIPS Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover said.

This 20,522 square-foot space will include several labs, break rooms and a lobby. 20 GISH faculty members, hospital workers and staff will be teaching students.

“They’ll focus on the medical sciences, and as time and opportunities allow, those students will have the opportunity to shadow the employees of the hospital, to really kind of get some hands-on first look experiences of what it’s like to work in the healthcare field,” CHI Health St Francis, President Ed Hannon said.

Students will spend some days at the hospital, and others in a traditional classroom setting at GISH. They will learn how to care for patients, repair high-tech equipment, assess injuries and other skills.

“The people who come out of this program will be a good workforce for the nursing homes in our area, the long-term care facilities, pharmacies, the hospitals in this region, lots of great jobs,” Hannon said.

Students who finish the healthcare labs will complete their nursing assistant and medication-aide licenses, and students in the emergency services path will also receive certifications through Central Community College.

“We have a lot of students that think about medical as just being doctors and nurses," said President Matt Gotschall, Central Community College. "They forget about all the other careers that are out there, tied to the medical facilities, the medical areas.”

The academy will expose students to the 250 careers in healthcare field.

“As you sit here on this eighth floor, and you’re able look out across the city, I think that’s what we want our kids to do," said Dr. Grover. "We want them to be able to look towards their future.”

This project will cost $5.92 million to start, and GIPS and CHI Health St. Francis assure funds won’t be coming from taxpayer dollars. It will be funded through businesses and donations.

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