With a $ 4 million commitment from the Permian Strategic Partnership, Odessa College’s Wood Health Sciences Building is a striking distance from its goal.
The announcement was made at the Saulsbury Campus Center in OC with officials from the College, Board of Trustees, Medical Center Hospital, PSP and other officials live and virtually.
The health sciences building, which begins September 1, will span 83,000 square feet over four floors and include teaching and community space. It will also allow more students to enroll in School of Health Sciences and continuing education programs in health care, with an estimated 64% increase in the number of graduates, according to a statement from. hurry.
The cost of the building is around $ 40 million and PSP’s investment takes it to $ 37,621,500, Vice President of Advancement Jacqui Gore said at a press conference Thursday at the Saulsbury Campus Center in OC.
“We set a goal about a year ago, which maybe seemed a bit of a stretch that we wanted to hit 90%. Last July it probably seemed like a crazy idea, ”Gore said. “But our partners came along along the way knowing that healthcare needs are increasing in the Permian Basin, and we were facing this pandemic that was really taxing healthcare needs, so that made it again. more obvious. “
Gore added that PSP’s investment is essential to help OC build the health sciences building.
“But more importantly, the top 17 executives of oil and gas companies… unanimously approved Odessa College’s $ 4 million request,” Gore said.
The approval will help open doors for other companies and partners as the college completes the wood health sciences building, she said, and continues with its Vision 2030 construction plans.
“… With a $ 4 million investment from PSP, community partners have committed to invest over $ 22.6 million in this project,” said Gore.
PSP President and CEO Tracee Bentley thanked everyone at OC for working collaboratively on this investment.
“The PSP brings together 17 major energy companies in the Permian Basin to work in partnership with the leaders of our communities to meet current and future challenges. Our mission is to strengthen and improve the quality of life of families in the Permian Basin through partnerships to develop and implement strategic plans to promote access to quality health care, graduate schools, roads more secure, skilled labor and housing. As the population of our region continues to grow, so does our need for quality health care, ”said Bentley. “… As we know, there are currently over 500 vacant nursing positions in the Permian Basin, and this will have a significant impact on hospitals, doctors’ offices, long-term care facilities, home care and schools. These ongoing vacancies result in delayed procedures, closed floors in hospitals, and recruitment and relocation costs with low retention rates to name a few. Adding more nursing niches while providing improved training through space and cutting-edge technology will increase the quality of education and access to the care we desperately need. We value our strong relationship with Odessa College and are grateful for the leadership you provide and health care and much more in our area. Odessa College is one of the shining stars of the Permian Basin and we are honored to be a part of this crucial initiative and to join all other existing sponsors and supporters who share the goal of increasing access to care. first-rate health care in the Permian Basin. Bentley added.
Julia Kiewit, Director of Strategic Initiatives at PSP, said that in addition to the improved quality of student education that will be facilitated by the new building, PSP has been very impressed with the placement and retention rates. graduates in the Permian basin, which corresponds to the group’s objective. expand access to the profession.
OC Chairman Gregory Williams said PSP sees this as an investment. Williams said OC can increase the number of students it serves by 30 to 50 percent in many areas so that more students are able to fill in the gaps.
Students will be able to complete half of their clinical requirements on campus.
The programs on offer will be dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, health information management, EKG specialist and more, Williams said.
Gore noted that for anyone wishing to contribute, there will be naming opportunities for just about every square inch of the building.
She noted that September 1 marks the inauguration of the building, but also the kickoff of OC’s 75th anniversary.
“I think it’s pretty amazing how much the community understands that healthcare is big business,” said MCH President and CEO Russell Tippin. “COVID has taught us a big lesson that you don’t realize how important it is until you really need it and the community support for this program and for what it’s going to produce is pretty awesome. to watch. I think the sky is the limit on this and it’s going to produce a lot of nurses and health care providers needed… ”
Head nurse Christin Timmons said the hospital has lost nurses due to a mix of COVID and normal attrition.
“We have some that leave the area, obviously with the oilfield and things like that, coming and going. But I would say we have some that we lose because they take on travel assignments, or their families are now able to stay at home instead of continually dealing with COVID, so that’s a problem, ” Timmons said.
Gore was delighted that the goal was almost reached.
“I’m so excited about today that it’s been a big day for Odessa College. We’ve worked closely with the Permian Strategic Partnership over the past two years to get this far, and I couldn’t think of a better partnership, ”said Gore.
Gore added that getting these 17 major oil and gas companies to unanimously approve the college’s request to fund this project in a year when oil fell below $ 0 is a huge achievement.
Bentley noted that access to quality healthcare professionals is one of the main things companies look at when trying to recruit and retain employees in the region.
“And so looking at the Odessa nursing program, knowing that it is already one of the highest rated in our region, the opportunity to expand this program made perfect sense. We know we already have over 500 nursing vacancies here in the Permian Basin. And we also know that we are able to fill them, and maybe more, with the program right here, ”said Bentley.
She noted that the PSP has played a role in the expansion of several health care programs in the basin.
Asked about PSP’s commitment to moving the goal of building closer to health sciences, Bentley said she didn’t realize it until Gore told her.
“… I didn’t realize we were so close and today when Jacqui said to me, oh my god, it was very heartwarming to know that we are almost there. I also had no idea, and Jacqui explained to me, how much our $ 4 million is a number and yes that is important, but being able to leverage that to cross the finish line makes this project even more so. special, ”said Bentley.