U.S. Representative Terri Sewell announces major federal funding for Tombigbee Healthcare Authority
DEMOPOLIS, Ala. (WTOK) - U.S. Representative Terri Sewell kicked off her “Congress in Your Community” tour Wednesday, hosting town halls in Sumter and Marengo counties.
Each year Representative Sewell hosts a series of town halls in each of the 14 counties she represents. And here in Demopolis, she shared that the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority will receive $1,143,018. The funds will go towards the Whitfield Regional Hospital and Wallace Community College Nurse Caregiver Training Project.
“And what it will do is allow students to actually train in the healthcare profession and be able to use this hospital as a teaching, for clinical and non-clinical therapy. So I think it’s a win-win for our area. Not only do we create jobs today and we train people for the future, but we’re hopefully also creating that pipeline of healthcare professionals that will help all throughout the Blackbelt,” said Rep. Sewell.
The CEO of Whitfield Regional Hospital, Douglas Brewer said they are excited to receive these funds especially because the Blackbelt is seen as a health desert.
“We don’t intend to just train nurses for here, we need to train them for the full blackbelt. That means that these nurses will train to be able to work with our patients. Then go to Thomasville, Sumter County over to York Hospital, or go up to Hale Hospital. We work closely with those hospitals in trying to create the kind of care the blackbelt deserves. It really takes all of us to be able to do this,” said Brewer.
Wallace Community College Demopolis Campus Director, Blaine Hathcock said having a first-class facility where they can train healthcare professionals right here in Demopolis will have a major impact on the community. He said not only do they need more staff but they need a facility where they don’t have to travel.
“Right now if you had a healthcare professional that was working here at the hospital and they wanted to get additional education whether it be short-term training, I mean its 50 miles to Selma, its 50 miles to Tuscaloosa. So being able to provide a facility here locally that can train and where people that are currently working can get additional training is huge for our community and region,” said Hathcock.
Rep. Sewell said she fought to get this money included in the 2023 federal government funding package and she can’t wait to see the impact it will have.
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