Culpeper Times: Germanna receives $1.1 million from Omnibus bill for training, free clinic

CULPEPER TIMES

The Omnibus spending bill signed by President Biden Friday included over $1.1 million for cybersecurity and nursing programs at Germanna Community College.

Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner secured $870,000 for Germanna’s James R. Clapper Center for Innovation in Cybersecurity. The funding will be used to grow Germanna’s cybersecurity degree and credential programs.
Germanna has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, GCC President Janet Gullickson said.

“(GCC) is committed to ramping up educated professionals in that field. We understand, as Sen. Kaine and Sen. Warner do, how vital cybersecurity is to our national security, and how great the need is for skilled cyber professionals here in our service area,” she continued.

“We’ve repeatedly heard about the lack of trained and certified cybersecurity professionals being a threat to our national security,” said Dr. Shashuna Gray, Germanna vice president for academic affairs and workforce development. “The funds will be used in our new facility in Stafford County to build a Germanna cyber academy. We look forward to training students from high schoolers to career-switchers in this high-wage profession.”

SPANBERGER SECURES FUNDING FOR A FREE CLINIC AT GERMANNA

Rep. Abigail Spanberger secured $251,000 for the Germanna Educational Foundation to purchase equipment for the soon-to-be-established Robert C. O’Neill Wellness Clinic.

The clinic will be part of the new Frank and Nancy Turnage Health Sciences Building and Robert C. O’Neill Clinic, set to begin construction soon on its Locust Grove Campus in Orange County.

It will provide free healthcare services to uninsured or underinsured area residents, many from rural communities. Services such as screenings and referrals, dental care, physical therapy, wellness evaluations and wellness classes will be provided by students from the Germanna Nursing and Health Technologies program, increasing the program’s capacity for students to receive the clinical hours necessary for graduation.

“Congresswoman Spanberger’s advocacy for this investment in health care access changes the wellness landscape for rural, Orange County community members,” Gullickson said. “Through the Robert C. O’Neill Wellness Clinic, students will receive the training and practice they need. Our neighbors in the region will have free access to health screenings including medical, physical therapist assisting, emergency medical services, and dental care.”

Eileen Dohmann, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Mary Washington Health Care, said the GCC Wellness Clinic is a good investment “that will fill a critical need for primary care services in our community.”

The Wellness Clinic will also offer a great learning experience for our Germanna nursing and healthcare students who will do clinical rotations in the Clinic. Our community needs the Germanna Wellness Clinic.”

Germanna’s Dr. Gray noted that GCC is committed to doubling the number of nursing graduates over the next few years to meet a critical need in the community as demand for health care grows while many nurses retire.

“Our mission is to change the lives of the community members where we live, educate, work and play including the mental and physical health of the community,” she said. “The college will provide access by way of preventative screenings and referrals through this money.”

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