Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) will make her first visit to the UT Martin Parsons Center at 4:30 p.m., Monday, June 2. A tour of the new West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation Nursing Wing that will open in August is the focus of her visit to the center. The expansion will house the university’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Joining Harwell will be Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), who represents Decatur County and also serves as deputy speaker.
Initial funding for the expansion was included in the 2013-14 budget proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly. A $1 million appropriation was made to build a 10,000-square-foot addition to the current facility. The addition includes classrooms, a skills laboratory and a high-fidelity computerized simulation laboratory.
The expansion plans received an added boost when the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation also made a $1 million commitment to the project.
“I am looking forward to seeing this new addition to the University of Tennessee at Martin in Parsons,” Harwell said about her upcoming visit. “This nursing program works with health-care facilities across the state to provide experience for its students. Their commitment to excellence means enrollment is expected to hit its highest mark next year, and I am excited to tour the facility and meet the people who make the program a success day in and day out.”
The Parsons Center will have openings for up to 30 students annually for the program. BSN program graduates will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses and obtain licensure as registered nurses.
Nursing students at Parsons will receive the same experience as those students enrolled at the Martin campus. The program works with health-care facilities across the region to provide three years of clinical experience for its students. Similar programs at other institutions offer only two years of clinical experience.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion is planned for August.
The 108th General Assembly of Tennessee wrapped up its 2014 business last week despite significant controversy and tension over taxes, budgets, and education. As in years past, the legislature produced just under 3,000 bills for consideration and an additional 2,499 resolutions. Due to the sheer scope of the University of Tennessee System, over 600 bills were tracked with either direct or indirect impacts.
So, where does that leave us for 2014? A summary of legislative outcomes, created for UT Advocates, is below.
Yesterday, the University of Tennessee joined hundreds of law enforcement and health professionals from across the state at the first ever statewide public safety forum. Joining Governor Haslam were Commissioners Dreyzehner (TN Department of Health), Gibbons (TN Department of Safety & Homeland Security), Varney (TN Department of Mental Health), Schofield (TN Department of Correction), and Hagerty (TN Department of Economic and Community Development) to present an update on the Governor’s Public Safety Action Plan. The Public Safety Action Plan is designed to have significant and measureable impacts on crime in Tennessee. The three key initiatives of the plan include reducing drug abuse and trafficking, reducing violent crime and reducing the number of repeat offenders.
The goal related to reducing drug abuse and trafficking contains specific actions relative to the Univeristy of Tennessee Health Science Center: Teaching medical and pharmacy students about prescription drug abuse, the prescription database system, and the laws in Tennessee that govern prescribers and dispensers.
House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and Representative Mark White (R-Memphis) visited the University of Tennessee Health Science Center yesterday to tour the campus, interact with students, and discuss the institution’s mission and multiple impacts on education, research, and outreach. Also highlighted at the meeting was UTHSC’s substantial statewide economic impact.
Some findings from UTHSC’s latest economic impact study follow:
UTHSC’s total economic contribution to the state amounted to more than $2.3 billion.
UTHSC received $126.6 million of state appropriated dollars in FY2010. The $2.3 billion total impact exceeds the state appropriation by a factor of more than 18 to 1.
UTHSC was directly and indirectly responsible for approximately 21,096 jobs across the state. The largest share of these jobs are in the Memphis area.
The 21,096 jobs created by UTHSC resulted in a total of $792.1 million of earnings, or about $38,140 per worker in FY2010. In comparison, Tennessee per capita personal income in 2010 was just $35,307.
Memphis, where the main UTHSC campus is located, contributed the most in total economic impact, representing about 73.8 percent of the total $2.3 billion impact. The other two major UTHSC locations, Knoxville and Chattanooga, represent 17.3 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, of the total.
Of all physicians practicing in Tennessee, 34.3 percent were graduates of one of the four Tennessee colleges of medicine; of these, 66.7 percent were graduates of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. The other three medical schools in Tennessee (Vanderbilt University, Meharry Medical College, and East Tennessee State University) together account for just 11.1 percent.
The University of Tennessee is grateful to Speaker Harwell and Representative White for taking time to learn more about the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and its distinctive contributions to education, research, clinical care, and public service.