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Donation brings enhancements to nursing and radiography programs

July 12, 2016

“I feel like a kid at Christmas.”

That’s what Jo Gramley, instructor and program director of Radiography, had to say about her new stretcher. It’s just one of the handful of supplies she received from Advocate BroMenn’s recent in-kind donation.

Patty Omahana is a nursing instructor at HCC. She was thrilled to get new hospital beds, a recliner and a bladder scanner for the program. “This greatly enhances our operational learning,” she said. “We’re so appreciative of BroMenn for thinking of us.”

Better Preparing Students

When Heartland’s Foundation launched its major gifts campaign in February 2014, Advocate BroMenn pledged $350,000 of gifts in kind that included hospital space and equipment. Their donations have brought updated technology and supplies to health career programs at the College which is better preparing students to enter their respective fields.

For example, the nursing program now has beds found in hospitals and nursing homes. “They function differently so it’s important for students to know how to treat and care for patients in different kinds of beds,” explained Omahana.

Gramley says a new stretcher brings several welcomed improvements to radiography. She often uses one to mimic trauma situations and to teach students how to properly and safely transport patients. “Our old gurney was from the 1960’s. It didn’t have brakes or steering nor did it adjust in height. Getting a new one will help us keep ourselves safe when teaching and learning about transports.”

Executive Director of HCC’s Foundation, Chris Downing, feels the donations reflect the value placed on educating the future workforce. “We’ve always had fantastic health career programs, but they were a bit hamstrung by tools and resources,” he said. “Now we have the resources to match the drive for success that’s instilled in those programs and our students will be even more prepared for the world they’re stepping into.”

It’s the Small Things

New shelvesDowning added that donations don’t have to be complex. He feels it’s just as important to make sure the basics are taken care of.

Adding to the layer of excitement for new medical equipment, the Health and Human Services department is also enjoying new storage solutions. From shelves to bins, Gramley is excited to get her supplies under control. Looking in her closet, she says, “As it is right now, I can’t find anything in here and this is organized. These (supply bins) will be phenomenal. Nothing will get bumped or broken.”

Partnerships Make a Big Difference

As Vice President of Operations at Advocate BroMenn, Bob Miller plays a significant role in community partnerships. He says partnerships are a must for his organization. “We want to be good stewards of our resources and to do that, we need to have solid relationships.”

Miller explained that once BroMenn is unable to use a piece of equipment, they try to find a place where it may be needed. Providing those kinds of things to educational institutions is mutually beneficial.

“Health career programs offer valuable human capital. If we can provide items that accelerate students’ learning experiences and provide realistic simulations, the transition to clinical or career will be much easier.”

Downing also mentioned that BroMenn is helping to shrink the technology gap between learning and practicing. “In healthcare, there’s a natural evolution and cycle of equipment. It can be hard to keep up with it. Having this partnership shrinks the gap between what’s learned in the classroom and what’s happening in the field. Heartland students are going to be as ready as they can be for the real world.”


See more photos on Heartland's Flickr page. (Photographer: Anjanel Folkens)

Written by: Becky Gropp