Gaston Receives $60M for Health Science Education, Simulation Center
Gaston College recently received state approval on a $60 million Health Science Education and Simulation Center facility geared towards providing training opportunities for new and existing healthcare personnel. This marks North Carolina’s largest community college budget allocation this year and the largest in Gaston’s history.
“This will be the only regional facility open to industry that is capable of providing training opportunities to existing healthcare professionals as well as students through a full range of in-house simulation capabilities,” said Dr. John Hauser, president of Gaston College. “Not only will our students develop necessary skills in this facility, but current healthcare workers can come to retool skills, work to advance their position, acquire certifications, and more.”
The establishment of this facility could help address the estimated 700 job openings in healthcare in the region and contribute to the growing healthcare industry.
“This historic investment in our future healthcare workforce is an acknowledgment of the critical needs of our region. We know that in order to get ahead of potential healthcare crisis, we must begin today to develop that talent pool of smart healthcare talent to fill the jobs we have and will need,” said State Representative Jason Saine. “I am proud of the work and hard efforts by our delegation to secure this funding for the health sciences building. As the lead appropriator in the House of Representatives, I can tell you that having Senator Overcash’s support in the Senate was essential to getting this done.”
The planned facility will be an expansion of the existing David Belk Cannon Health Institute on Gaston College’s Dallas campus. Intended services through the new facility are to include:
- Advanced health care education and development
- High-quality continuing education with healthcare-specific certifications
- Certificates, diplomas, associate degree programs
- Workforce development programs (industry certifications)
- Apprenticeship opportunities in four health science programs
- Cutting-edge healthcare technology-driven simulation center
“The Gaston College Health Science Education and Simulation Center will fundamentally transform health care in our region, and its positive impact will be felt for generations,” said State Senator Brad Overcash. “I am immeasurably proud of the funding for this critical project.”
Gaston College’s existing healthcare program offerings include five nationally accredited programs, 13 health and human services programs, 13 university transfer partners, a health academy at East Gaston High School, and Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences through Gaston County Schools. Through the new Health Science Education and Simulation Center, the college’s programs will grow to include several new programs, new national accreditations, and new apprenticeship pathways.
Gaston College will work with partners at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, Atrium Health, Gaston County Schools, Lincoln County Schools, Cleveland Community College, and Catawba Valley Community College to provide increased access to the facility.