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Lottery Proceeds are Helping Build a Skilled Healthcare Workforce in South Carolina
2/17/2010 12:03:02 PM

February 17, 2010 (Columbia, SC) - Each year the General Assembly appropriates funds from the Education Lottery Account (ELA) to support a wide range of educational initiatives in South Carolina. Many students, families and communities are benefiting from lottery proceeds. Did you know the General Assembly has appropriated funds from the ELA to support the Allied Healthcare Initiative to build a skilled healthcare workforce in South Carolina?

More than $16.1 million in lottery net proceeds has been directed to the South Carolina Technical College System’s Allied Healthcare Initiative. This initiative is designed to help address the state’s skilled healthcare workforce shortage. In fact, the South Carolina Hospital Association reports the critical shortage of healthcare workers threatens “… to drive the cost of services up, while driving access to care and quality down.”

Lottery proceeds have assisted the state’s 16 technical colleges to upgrade infrastructure resources, improve curriculum, increase enrollment, improve retention and implement new programs in all allied healthcare program areas. The Allied Healthcare Initiative has received lottery funding from FY 2006-07 through FY 2008-09.

Funding from the Allied Healthcare Initiative has been used to construct a $1.5 million Simulation Technologies and Training Center (STAT) that opened in September 2009 at Greenville Technical College, making the college one of a very few in the country to use simulation technology to improve education for students in all 20 of the college’s health and nursing programs.

The center, on Greenville Technical College’s Barton Campus, houses eight simulators in seven different teaching environments, including: a city street where a car accident has occurred, a residential setting, an emergency room, neonatal resuscitation, a standard patient room, a hospital operating room, a labor and delivery room and a specialty room such as intensive care or pediatric intensive care unit.

Funding for the STAT Center’s equipment has come from a variety of sources, with the majority coming from the Allied Health Initiative, which funded the purchase of the simulators themselves, along with a state-of-the-art AV system, Smartboards and other tools for teaching.

The use of high-fidelity patient simulation technology provides exposure to critical patient conditions and allows students to perform assessments and treatments of patients that they rarely, if ever, see in a teaching environment. These learning simulation experiences help students build the competence necessary to perform in a real healthcare setting after graduation. The simulation technology also increases safety while improving outcomes for future patients.

“The patient simulation experience was amazing,” commented a student at Greenville Technical College. “To have an opportunity to assess a patient, think and react to the situation without causing harm is invaluable. This experience gave me an opportunity to see how I react to pressure in a critical situation and learn from my actions.”

The example set by Greenville Technical College’s use of appropriations directed towards the Allied Healthcare Initiative illustrates the positive impact lottery net proceeds are having for South Carolina’s citizens. By providing the financial aid and resources to help educate today’s students, the General Assembly is providing the groundwork for tomorrow’s healthcare workforce and the well-being of all South Carolinians.

The funds earned by SCEL and deposited into the Education Lottery Account are dedicated to the state’s students and educational institutions. Learn more about where the money goes by visiting sceducationlottery.com – where education wins!

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