May 10, 2010


Center to offer training for students seeking allied health care jobs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski and U.S. Congressmen Elijah Cummings and John Sarbanes (all D-MD) today announced $1 million in federal funding to help build a new allied health care education center in Mount Airy , Maryland . The new center, called the Mid-Maryland Community College Allied Healthcare Education Center, will cost a total of $5.5 million over five years and will train up to 500 students per year when at full capacity.


The Allied Healthcare Education Center is a cooperative effort between Frederick Community College , Howard Community College and Carroll Community College , whose partnership allows students to receive training in allied health occupations at any of the three campuses and still pay in-county tuition.


"In March, we enacted important health care reform that will expand access to care for more than 30 million Americans. Now we need to make sure we have the health care professionals ready to provide Marylanders and all Americans with the health services that are needed," said Senator Cardin.  "I strongly supported this funding because I believe our community colleges are at the forefront in providing the strong academic curriculum that will ensure we have the trained professional in place for our health care delivery system."


When complete, the Allied Healthcare Education Center will house science, computer and medical simulation laboratories and classrooms for allied health education programs. The center will also partner with Howard County General Hospital , Carroll Hospital Center , Frederick Memorial Hospital and the Town of Mt. Airy, Maryland, helping students to develop the practical skills necessary to alleviate the shortage of health care workers in Maryland .


 "This is about jobs, jobs, jobs. It's about giving people the tools they need to keep the jobs they have and it's about preparing people who need jobs for jobs that are available in Maryland today," said Senator Mikulski. "With these funds, Frederick , Howard and Carroll Community Colleges will train a new pipeline of workers to fill jobs in health care fields that are needed now and will be needed even more in the future. This is a win-win opportunity to help save lives, transform lives and transform communities."


"We learned during the debate on healthcare reform that cost control was not the only improvement our healthcare system needs," said Congressman Cummings. "We must educate a new generation of nurses, nurse practitioners, primary care physicians, technicians and other medical professionals, so that everyone in our nation will have equal access to the best healthcare on Earth. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to help create part of the educational infrastructure that will provide these students with an outstanding path toward a rewarding career in healthcare."


"Health care reform must include a strong commitment to increasing the number of health care professionals nationwide," said Congressman John Sarbanes. "I have made addressing the shortage of medical professionals in this country a top priority of mine in the Congress and Howard Community College is at the forefront of this effort."  


"I'm incredibly appreciative of our federal delegation working so diligently to secure funds for this education center," said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.  "As we researched our Healthy Howard Health Plan it became clear that not only is there a critical need for affordable health care, but there is also a critical need for trained health care professionals. This partnership helps address that need."


In Maryland , there is a gap between the demand and supply in a number of critical healthcare professions, including registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, dental assistants, and pharmacy technicians. Targeted programs are needed to address these current and forecasted workforce shortages, and to provide workers with training necessary to enter into the healthcare industry, which remains a critical driver in regional economies across the nation.