Last month, a $33.9 billion Pennsylvania state budget was approved by lawmakers for 2019-20, in which higher education was a priority and included overall increased state funding for the State System.
Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-25) was instrumental in securing funding in the budget for many programs across his district, including funding for Lock Haven University. As part of the state budget, LHU will receive $250,000, which will be used to support a simulation lab that will be located at UPMC Susquehanna Lock Haven hospital.
“Lock Haven University is helping to make a positive difference both within our community and within the lives of their students,” Scarnati said. “The 2019-20 state budget was passed with no new tax increases and as part of the budget I was very pleased to be an advocate for this additional funding to aid LHU students who are pursuing careers in health related fields. It is vital that we continue to support increased educational opportunities and ensure our workforce has knowledgeable, well-trained healthcare workers for our future.”
LHU President, Dr. Robert Pignatello, said the funding for the simulation lab will aid in plans for the evolution of the university’s nursing and other healthcare programs. “The support from Sen. Scarnati to secure the funds for our simulation lab is greatly appreciated and occurred at a critical time,” Pignatello said. “Establishing the School of Nursing and expanding our nursing programs to the main campus this fall will further enhance opportunities for potential students and meet the ever growing demand for nurses and other healthcare professionals. The availability of specialized learning facilities is a key component to achieving this goal.
“These are the types of collaborative efforts and partnerships between government, healthcare providers and the university that we need,” Pignatello added, also citing the role of LHU council of trustees’ secretary, Deb Suder, as a key advocate for the funding.
“Medical simulation labs are essential elements of clinical training for healthcare professions and are integral to nursing education,” added Dr. Donna Wilson, provost and executive vice president at LHU. “The simulation lab these funds will support enables Lock Haven University to prepare greater numbers of highly qualified nurses to serve the Commonwealth. We are grateful for Sen. Scarnati’s support and the legislature’s investment in our students and healthcare education.”
The simulation lab is fundamental to nursing education at LHU and will be used in nursing courses as well as other medical scenarios involving various healthcare professions education, such as physician assistant studies and for interprofessional training for healthcare teams. UPMC also will be able to utilize the lab for their own staff development.
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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.
LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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