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Cox College receives $2.2M grant from U.S. Department of Commerce

Published Friday, January 5, 2018 10:15 am

Media opportunity: On Friday, Jan. 5, community leaders will gather at 2:30 p.m. to learn more about a $2.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration and its impact on southwest Missouri. Media are invited to the session to learn more and conduct interviews, which will be held at Cox College’s Fountain Plaza Room (1423 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield). For more information, please call 417-813-8915.

Cox College will be the focus of a $2.2 million grant to encourage workforce development in health care, one of the region’s most-needed fields. The grant will support the plans to reinvest in the Cox College facility, and grow more nurses locally by adding classroom space, new clinical areas as well as student-study and innovation spaces.  

“The collaborative efforts of local leaders will allow for new health care opportunities throughout southwest Missouri,” says Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce. “The expanded Cox College nursing program will help local workers gain the skills health care providers look for in a modern workforce.”

During the application process for the grant, the CoxHealth Foundation worked with more than a dozen local and regional health care providers to set the stage for job creation. These partners have pledged available and future positions for nurses as soon as they can be graduated from the nursing programs of Cox College.

Partners including Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Mercy, Texas County Memorial Hospital, Phelps County Regional Hospital, Citizens Memorial Hospital, Oxford HealthCare and others wrote letters of support, encouraging the EDA to invest in southwest Missouri and the need for a larger health care workforce by helping expand Cox College’s programs.

With a goal of training more health care professionals in southwest Missouri, these partners know that increasing the number of nurses the college can produce will ultimately add many jobs – with substantial earning potential – to the area’s economy.

“We are incredibly grateful to the EDA for choosing Cox College and the outstanding ASN, BSN, and MSN nursing students educated in our programs,” says Lisa Alexander, president of the CoxHealth Foundation. “We know that nurses are key to the successful delivery of outstanding care in our region. The local need is rapidly expanding, especially when one considers the area’s population projected growth. When this is combined with the numbers of nurses set to retire in the next 10 years, this expansion cannot come soon enough.”

Members of the media are invited to learn more about why these jobs are needed in this area on Friday, Jan. 5 at 2:30 p.m. Representatives from CoxHealth, Cox College and the CoxHealth Foundation, as well as the following community members, are expected to be on hand to conduct interviews:

  • Steve Castaner, U.S. Economic Development Administration

  • Wes Murray, CEO, Texas County Memorial Hospital

  • Matt Stinson, Jordan Valley Community Health Center

  • Lindsay Haymes, vice president of Workforce Development, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Matt Morrow, president, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
    Jane Hood, Southwest Missouri Council of Governments  

  • Jason Ray, Southwest Missouri Council of Governments  

  • Various state and local government leaders

In addition to local leaders who wrote letters in support of the college, Alexander also points to the generosity of local donors as a major part of the campaign’s quick success.

“People in the Ozarks have made a huge impact on this campaign,” says Alexander. “The commitment to the caring, compassionate people who serve our patients each day is evident in the generosity of the giving. People truly do value their nurses.”

Since July 2017, Cox College has been engaged in its reinvestment campaign to raise $6.6 million to completely revitalize its facility. Along with a challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation, the campaign goal is nearing completion.