OTC and Community Foundation of the Ozarks announce $50,000 challenge grant

OTC and Community Foundation of the Ozarks announce $50,000 challenge grant

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Media Contact

Mark Miller
College Director of Communication 417.447.2655 millerm@otc.edu
Laura French
Coordinator of Public Information 417.447.2659 frenchl@otc.edu

Ozarks Technical Community College and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks announce a new $50,000 challenge grant initiative to support OTC’s Allied Health Clinical Simulation Center, a 2,000 square-foot, multi-disciplinary high-fidelity simulation lab that provides training for students in ten programs at OTC, as well as for emergency medical technicians already in the workforce.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks will match $1 for every dollar raised by the OTC Foundation, up to $25,000, by June 30, 2012. The OTC Foundation will use the challenge grant funds for equipment and software for its Clinical Simulation Center and interactive manikins, which have the ability to replicate symptoms through computer software that presents medical personnel with a variety of issues, ranging from shortness of breath to heart problems to a drug overdose. The manikins can bleed, sweat, roll their eyes, even turn blue in places due to lack of oxygen. Along with the academic uses, the Clinical Simulation Center has been used in regular workshops for emergency technicians from Cox Hospitals, and in training exercises for the Missouri Army National Guard.

The CFO initiated this new challenge grant as part of the 2011-12 Metropolitan Springfield Grantmaking Program in response to its emphasis on addressing high-priority community needs – or “red flags” – identified in the Community Focus Reports for Springfield and Greene County.

Since 2005, the Community Focus Reports have noted  local income and wage issues as “red flags.” Stalled job growth, regional unemployment and funding challenges for OTC have been cited as emerging issues for the community.

“Although Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) plays a critical role in training and retraining regional employees to meet employers’ needs, it continues to face major funding challenges,” the 2009 report stated. “OTC has the third highest enrollment of any community college in the state, yet ranks last in state funding.”

“Partnering with the Community Foundation on this challenge grant is an opportunity to enhance facilities and programs here at the College that benefit not just our students, but the entire community,” said Hal Higdon, chancellor of Ozarks Technical Community College.  “The equipment that this grant will allow us to provide will be instrumental in ensuring that medical personnel and first responders in our community are thoroughly prepared for any situation.”

“The CFO is committed to applying our Metro Springfield Grantmaking Program to the most important needs of the community and adequately trained healthcare workers ranks among the top issues,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “We think this challenge grant partnership with OTC Foundation will better position Springfield for economic recovery with skilled employees to meet our community’s workforce needs.”

For more information on making fully tax-deductible contributions to the OTC Simulation Challenge Grant, contact the OTC Foundation at (417) 447-2651 or browns@otc.edu.

The Community Focus Reports are available at: www.springfieldcommunityfocus.org. For media information, contact: Joel Doepker, OTC, (417) 447-2655 or Louise Knauer, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, (417) 864-6199.