Officials cut ribbon on Inspira Health Services Center
On a yet sunny May 1, officials cut the ribbon on the new Inspira Health Services Center, the latest addition to the Eds to Meds corridor that goes from Camden City through Deptford to Glassboro.
Created by a partnership between Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ), Inspira and the county board of commissioners, the new health center will feature the first respiratory therapy training program in New Jersey at the college’s Deptford campus.
“This is a special day, especially in this time of a critical shortage of allied health professionals,” Commissioner Director Frank DiMarco told the more than 150 people under a tent outside the new building, where classes will be held beginning in September.
“We are very proud of this collaboration,” he added. “RCSJ is one of the top-ranked nursing programs in the nation, and this is a premier Eds and Meds campus.”
“Our respiratory therapist colleagues from Inspira were critical to the design of the teaching and learning space,” said Dr. Susan Hall, dean of nursing and health professions at RCSJ. “The clinical experts defined the space needed for equipment and hands-on instruction.
“On the second floor, the learning space for the clinical medical technician and surgical technician programs were created with input from our colleagues at Inspira,” she added.
Hall also noted that the respiratory therapy program is the first to emerge from research and development through the partnership between RCSJ, the commissioners and Inspira.
“This is an amazing day,” former state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said. “Years ago, the nursing program was decertified. Now it is one of the best in the Northeast. The county is trying to create a workforce for tomorrow and creating a pathway for careers.”
“We partnered together to create the economic development that needs to happen,” noted Inspira Health President/CEO Amy Mansue. “There are 193 individuals from Inspira now enrolled at RCSJ. They receive tuition reduction from our partnership with the college and tuition reimbursement from us. The Inspira staff can go to school for free.”
One of the first applicants for the respiratory therapy program this fall is Kristi Hughes.
“This has a tremendous impact on Inspira employees, and a sign of what the future will bring,” she said.
“We serve the people here in Gloucester County,” RCSJ President Dr. Frederick Keating pointed out. “My focus is connecting education with industry. Over the past several years, I’ve talked with industry leaders asking, ‘What credentials does your current workforce need? Who will you need to hire, and with what skills, for future growth?’
“That’s how RCSJ’s premier partnership with Inspira was born,” he added, “collaborating to educate and employ the South Jersey community,” he said.
The respiratory therapy program is a new degree opportunity offered at Rowan University, in partnership with RCSJ and the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine.
The Eds to Meds corridor stretches from Rutgers-Camden and the hospitals in the city, through the nursing program at RCSJ, to Rowan University in Glassboro, which last week announced the creation of the first veterinary school in the state.