U.S. Rep. Richard Neal joined Westfield State University President Linda Thompson to announce a $1 million earmark to enhance the university’s training capacity for nursing and health science students.
The allocation was made possible through congressionally directed spending from the Department of Education. Neal included funding for this project in the FY 2023 spending bill that was signed into law on Dec. 29, 2022.
“The Commonwealth has long been at the forefront of innovations in the healthcare field, making our state’s healthcare system the envy of the nation. We are fortunate to have some of the best hospitals in Western and Central Massachusetts, and institutions like Westfield State University are ensuring we have the skilled workforce needed to staff these facilities,” Neal said. “This funding will allow the university to improve and expand its nursing and health science programs, ensuring the next generation of healthcare professionals has access to the state-of-the-art technology and real-world experiences needed to succeed in their respective fields.”
Westfield State’s plans for this funding are threefold: to double the university’s simulation space that is utilized to develop students’ skills and confidence in applying healthcare practices, provide a new Easy Street simulation space that will allow healthcare students to apply concepts of home-based and community care in their learning, and provide new spaces for the practice of healthcare innovation.
“The funding appropriated for Westfield State University’s nursing and healthcare programs will create opportunities to reverse a healthcare professional shortage trend that has impacted a wide swath of our region,” Thompson said. “The critical, smart, and necessary move by Congress, led by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, will lead to the creation of systems that will reinforce and strengthen the health of the population. Westfield State University is eager to continue collaborating with our healthcare partners to provide top-level services to our communities through training and development opportunities for our students and others who may be interested in improving their skills.”