RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande Community College has new equipment for their direct service worker program.
The program, which began in the fall of 2015 in the McArthur Center, is a certification program for home health aides. Beth Zinn, director of the Jackson and McArthur centers, said Hamden Nursing and Rehabilitation, formerly Huston Nursing Home Inc. donated several items needed to train the students on equipment they could use in the field.
“It was really generous of Hamden Nursing and Rehabilitation to donate wheelchairs, crutches and several other items that our students need for the courses. The fact that a small-town facility in the county is willing to help our students shows there is a strong connection and support between the community college and Vinton County as a whole,” Zinn said. “It’s wonderful for our students to have the chance to work with this equipment know local businesses support their work.”
Eric Womeldorf, the nursing home administrator, said he was happy to work with the community college’s new program and is excited to watch it grow.
“I believe in education and I attended Rio as a post-secondary option for a year while I was in high school, so I also care about the university,” he said. “This is a small community and we need to be supportive of one another to succeed. Hamden would love to see the health care field expand in our community and are proud of what the community college is doing.”
Zinn said the program began when the community college noticed a need for home health aids in the community and wanted to provide a fast track for potential students interested in the field.
“This gives our students an opportunity for more medical training. It also provides students planning to pursue a nursing degree a chance to get a more rounded background,” Zinn said. “Students could even find a career in home health aide while continuing their medical schooling. We are very thankful Eric and Hamden Nursing and Rehabilitation’s support for this new program and want to help it succeed.”
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist with the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.