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Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Bolivar and Bolivar Technical College (BTC) are collaborating to build a new health care educational facility on the hospital’s grounds. KSMU’s Julie Greene reports on how the new building will affect the local health care industry.
Bolivar Technical College enrolls around 200 students in its health care programs, and its current 9,000 square foot facility has reached maximum capacity. Due to the school’s current space, enrollment in the nursing program is only offered every other year. But with the addition of a new building at more than 28,000 square feet, the school plans to offer enrollment in the nursing program every fall semester as well as expand class sizes.
BTC will occupy 80 percent of the new facility, with the $5.3 million cost to be paid for by Citizens Memorial Hospital.
Hospital Spokesperson Tamera Heitz-Peek says training local residents at the hospital provides a significant impact on the economy.
“The majority of college graduates become employed at CMH, and we still need more nurses and other health care providers at CMH. Like many other health care organizations across Missouri, we’re experiencing a nursing shortage, and by partnering with Bolivar Technical College, we really hope to fill those open positions,” Heitz-Peek said.
In addition to the new building, BTC is also addressing the local nursing shortage by seeking approval from the Missouri State Board of Nurses to expand its RN program. A response is expected in late February.
“The real benefit here is the fact that they can get a great education close to home. A lot of people want to be in the health care industry. It’s a fantastic way for them to have a great job and to be a part of the community. This is just a way for them to get that education and still be a part of the community,” Heitz-Peek said.
As well as housing BTC, the new building will contain the CMH Education Department and two community rooms.
Construction for the new building will begin this summer and is estimated to take 8-12 months to complete.
For KSMU News, I’m Julie Greene.