Two South Florida colleges receive grants to expand medical education programs

by | Aug 18, 2022

  • Health Foundation of Florida, a leading philanthropic organization, announced on Thursday that it is donating $1 million to expand healthcare industry education programs at Miami Dade College and Broward College 
  • Miami Dade College plans to use the funding to expand its licensed nurse practitioner certification program, while Broward College aims to launch a health science student support initiative 
  • Broward College plans to leverage the grant to secure an additional $700,000 

The Health Foundation of South Florida, the region’s largest philanthropic organization, on Thursday announced a $1 million investment to fund expanded healthcare professional education at Miami Dade College and Broward College.

Both universities will utilize the funding to draw a wide range of students to their individual health sciences and nursing programs. To guarantee that the students graduate successfully and are ultimately connected to positions in the health system, the institutions will give scholarships and develop retention and support efforts.

“We understand there are no quick or simple solutions to our region’s shortage of nursing and healthcare workers. But we also believe the crisis presents an opportunity for us to help pave the way to good, steady, well-paying jobs for more people in our community,” said Loreen Chant, CEO of the Health Foundation of South Florida. “We care about this deeply because we know that improving the health and well-being of our region is impossible without making economic opportunity and mobility more accessible.”

Miami Dade College—which received a $500,000 grant from the Health Foundation that was matched by an additional $500,000 from the Mitchell Wolfson Family Foundation—will use the funds to expand its recently launched certification program for licensed practical nurses. In addition, they will use the grant to increase the number of students earning two-year Associate Degrees in nursing and provide scholarships, extra academic prep classes, and workshops for students.

Broward College also received a $500,000 grant and plans to allocate the funds to launch an initiative to support health sciences students who have unmet personal and economic needs.

Broward college plans to hire two full-time “retention specialists” whose jobs will help students access the support they need to graduate. The school also plans to leverage the Health Foundation’s grant to secure an additional $700,000 to fund the efforts, according to a university release.

“This is a pivotal time when our community needs healthcare workers the most and it is also a time when our students face the most personal obstacles in completing degrees in health sciences,” said Sara Turpel, Dean and Nursing Administrator for Nursing at Broward College. “This gift from the Health Foundation of South Florida will positively impact students through increased educational attainment and have a direct impact on the health of the community.”

The Florida Hospital Association and Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida recently published a study that detailed the severity of the state’s healthcare worker shortfall. According to the analysis, Florida will have 244,000 registered nurses by 2023, while the state will require 268,000. The disparity is anticipated to worsen by 2035 when 323,000 workers are to be needed but just 286,000 are projected to be available.


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