West Virginia University at Parkersburg
300 Campus Drive Parkersburg WV 26104
Phone: 304-424-8203 | Fax: 304-424-8315
WVU Parkersburg awarded $182,599 to implement a Paramedic Science program.
CONTACT: Dr. Rhonda Richards, executive dean of academic affairs, 304-424-8242.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Virginia University at Parkersburg is the recipient of a $182,599 grant to implement a Paramedic Science program.
The West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education awarded the three-year development grant to WVU Parkersburg during its August meeting in Charleston.
The Paramedic Science Certificate is designed to prepare graduates to provide out-of-hospital emergency medical care at an advanced practice level under the guidance of a physician. The certificate is being implemented this fall.
"The program includes classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction to develop expertise in the theory and practice of advanced life support," explained Rhonda Richards, executive dean of academic affairs.
Funds from the grant are being used to purchase instructional laboratory equipment and supplies and provide for a faculty position.
The college determined demand for the program by surveying area health care providers. A critical need for paramedics was identified in the region, she noted. Agreements are in place with Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital to provide clinical sites for the program.
"Development of a program in paramedic science will support the delivery of emergency health care not only in Parkersburg but also throughout the region," said Marcella Will, director of education at St. Joseph's Hospital.
A maximum of 24 students will be able to enroll and complete the program each year. Admission to the program requires proof of emergency medical technician (EMT) certification. Dr. Richards said courses are being delivered in the evening to accommodate working students. Graduates will demonstrate mastery of all program requirements before sitting for the national registry exam.
"The Paramedic Science program at WVU-P is extremely significant and important to Wood County," noted Greg Smith, director of marketing and public affairs at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital.
"St. Joseph’s and Camden-Clark's ambulance services provide this region with emergency response and care at no cost to Wood Countians. Throughout the state, other counties have to pay for this type of service," he continued.
"What’s most important is the quality of care that the people of Wood County receive. Both ambulance services have a paramedic and EMT that man their response units," he added. "Both services have received nothing less than superior ratings from the state of West Virginia. The Paramedic Science program will help keep the flow of qualified paramedics and EMT technicians to serve the folks in Wood County."
Smith also serves as a member of the WV Council for Community and Technical College Education.
As part of the program's development, an articulation agreement is in place with Wood County Schools. The certificate aligns with Wood County Schools' Emergency Services program. The public school program includes exposure to criminal justice and firefighting and results in students completing EMT certification.
Additional information regarding the program is available by contacting the college's Health Sciences Division.