Onondaga Community College gets $2 million to train more health care workers

    Syracuse, N.Y. – Onondaga Community College is getting $2 million in federal funding to build a hospital simulation center to train nurses and technicians needed to help address staffing shortages at Central New York hospitals.

    The funding was announced today by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, at a news conference at OCC.

    The new facility will be used to renovate and equip simulation rooms with audiovisual equipment that will support virtual reality learning. It will include patient rooms, a simulated drug dispensary and a maternal and infant care delivery room.

    OCC’s school of health has programs for nursing, surgical technology, physical therapy assistants and other health care professions.

    OCC plans to expand its school of health by launching new programs for students who want to become certified nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians, home health aides and pharmacy technicians.

    About 500 students are enrolled in OCC’s health programs. The college expects the expansion to add another 280 students.

    “This will give our region the shot in the arm it needs to start addressing the shortages in healthcare workers we are seeing in too many hospitals across the country, while simultaneously helping residents get good paying jobs boosting their community,” Schumer said in a prepared statement.

    The money for OCC is part of $12 million contained in the recently passed end-of-the-year omnibus bill that will go to Central New York health care providers.

    The funding includes:

    • $2.9 million for a new mental health facility in Cortland County.
    • $2 million for Auburn Community Hospital’s cancer center;
    • $2 million for Valley Health Services in Herkimer to build a new 160-bed nursing home;
    • $1.1 million for a suicide prevention center at SUNY Upstate University Hospital;
    • $1 million for improvements to Crouse Hospital’s emergency department;
    • $1 million for renovations of a behavioral health building at Oneida Hospital; and
    • $900,000 for SUNY Upstate’s Lyme and Tick-borne disease treatment center.

    James T. Mulder covers health. Have a news tip? Contact him at (315) 470-2245 or [email protected]

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