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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey came to Huntsville to present a $1,000,000 grant on Friday. The money is to help Huntsville Hospital in building a nursing simulation lab at Calhoun Community College.

The lab, which will be at the Huntsville campus, is the final piece needed for Calhoun to establish a new nursing program. This program is similar to the one offered in Decatur.

Calhoun officials say the new 2-year education program could graduate up to 48 additional Registered Nurses a year, beginning in 2020.

David Spillers, CEO of the Huntsville Hospital Health System, calls the partnership “perfectly timed for our community and region.” He says “the need for more nurses is significant across the country. This is especially so in areas that are growing like Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley. We are grateful to Governor Ivey for providing the funding which will help make this a reality.”

Jeff Samz, the COO, added, “The winners in this partnership are the patients across our community who will have greater access to the nursing care they need.”

Hospital and school officials estimate the cost of building and furnishing the simulation lab at $2.5 million. Huntsville Hospital plans to provide the balance of funds to oversee the construction project in coordination with Calhoun staff. Ongoing costs for clinical faculty and facility operating expenses will be Calhoun’s responsibility.

The $1 million grant is coming from the Alabama Capital Improvement Trust Fund.