Posted by Cortney Bealer, USDA Rural Development Public Affairs in Rural
Oct 05, 2021
In 2013, Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Bolivar, Missouri experienced an overwhelming shortage of quality healthcare professionals. Simultaneously, its partner Bolivar Technical College (BTC) had outgrown its facility and had twice as many applicants as it had space for students.
CMH Properties has long partnered with USDA Rural Development to affordably finance and expand its healthcare facilities utilizing the Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program which provides funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Through this program, Rural Development invested more than $5.4 million to construct a state-of-the-art education facility.
Completed in 2016, the building houses classrooms, labs, meeting rooms, a library, and a hospital education administrative suite. Most of the building is leased to BTC. The additional space allowed the college to increase class sizes and enrollment and helped with the hospital’s nursing shortage as 30% of graduates have chosen to stay locally employed.
“My classmates and I always had the opportunity to get hands-on-practice and one-on-one help and feedback,” said Shawn Mock, RN, a BTC graduate. “Plus, the new facility was just really top notch as far as materials and access to things.”
“It would have been extremely difficult to near impossible for us to be where we are today without the building project,” explained Charlotte Gray, President of Bolivar Technical College. “The building allowed us to expand and train more students. This provides people of the community, and surrounding smaller communities, the opportunity to earn degrees at the certificate level through the baccalaureate level and have gainful employment without having to travel to larger metropolitan areas.”
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. Learn more about the programs USDA Rural Development offers at www.rd.usda.gov.