by Kaitlyn McConnell, Cox
As a part of CARES Act funding, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA), has awarded Cox College funding to benefit future health care heroes.
A $1.9 million grant, secured by the CoxHealth Foundation, will transform the college’s simulation laboratory. The funds will be used to renovate and expand the lab to train nursing students on critical equipment so they are better equipped to assist patients during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are so excited about this grant and what it means to our students, and to all of the region,” says Dr. Amy DeMelo, president of Cox College. “The number of nursing students in our programs has greatly increased in recent months, following our expansion, which was partially funded by a separate EDA grant and local donors. We look forward to what this new equipment offers to our students during their training.”
Under the grant, the college’s existing simulation lab will be expanded into nine simulation rooms, three control centers, and five debriefing rooms. It will also update all simulation manikins to all high-fidelity. In addition to enhanced equipment and facilities, the updates allow for an increased number of nursing students at the college, which was recently approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing to grow from 250 to 400.
“We have seen an amazing transformation at Cox College over recent months with the renovation of the facility, ultimately bringing great benefit to the entire region through increased numbers of health care professionals,” says Lisa Alexander, president of the CoxHealth Foundation. “By expanding the simulation lab, we are adding another layer of training and expertise for our students. This will help them be even more prepared to hit the ground running upon graduation to care for our community. It will also help add more good-paying jobs to the region.”
The EDA funding is part of a CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant, and benefits an area identified as a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone. It will be matched with $470,480 in local funds and is expected to create 1,303 jobs.