Community colleges announce partnership

Jon Russelburg | Kentucky New Era

Madisonville Community College President Dr. Cindy Kelley and Hopkinsville Community College President Dr. Alissa Young shake hands after signing the surgical technology consortium agreement between the two schools.

Hard work for good paying jobs. That was the theme of the day Tuesday for Hopkinsville Community College and Madisonville Community College as the two schools officially signed a consortium agreement to partner together for the upcoming school year.

The schools will be conducting surgical technology courses together. The agreement allows students to utilize the best equipment from both schools in pursuit of an associates degree in surgical technology.

HCC President Dr. Alissa Young told the crowd that collaboration in education is critical in today's world.

"According to the US Department of Labor Statistics," Young said. "The field of surgical technology is projected to grow 15% from now to 2026."

She added that the growth rate is faster than the average of all other occupations.

"Advances in medical technology have made surgeries safer and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries," she said. "And in order to bring state of practice training and education to our region we are partnering with Madisonville Community College to leverage the resources and assets of both our institutions."

According to the partnership's flyer, surgical technologists are responsible for preparing the operating room with instruments, equipment and all sterile supplies required for operations. They may also assist in surgeries by passing instruments, holding retractors, cutting sutures or keeping track of the instruments.

With the partnership, instruction and basic surgical skills will be provided on each campus.

Dr. Beth Beverly, who lives in Madisonville and works at HCC, will be the program's coordinator. Beverly told the crowd that the partnership has one goal, to serve the students in their goal of attaining their career goals.

"We are excited to be having both campuses utilized," she said. "Both of the colleges will have students coming to classes, to labs."

She added that the hospitals in both locations will be used for hands-on experience.

"Yes there's a little bit of travel involved," she said. "I have assured them (that) I do it every day."

Students registered for the first round of the program start Monday. After successfully completing the fall and spring semesters, the students will take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

A small group of the future students were in attendance for the consortium agreement signing.

"You have not one college, but two colleges that are supporting you here today," she told the students. "So I wish you all very … good luck because it's not going to be easy.

"But you can do it."

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or jrusselburg@kentuckynewera.com

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