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Gibson Tech nursing program receives new bus

Efforts to improve health and wellness can look vastly different. Sometimes it is AEDs for volunteer firefighters, and other times it is funding to help patients get to medical appointments. Today, it’s a school bus that will take certified nursing assistant students for on-the-job training.

Skaggs Foundation recently awarded Reeds Spring School District and Gibson Technical Center a $111,000 grant to purchase a new bus for center’s Health Tech Program.  The program provides area high school juniors and seniors with the training to become Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs. 

“Our Health Tech Program prepares students to enter the healthcare field immediately after high school,” explained Tammy Parrish, RN, health tech instructor. “The program requires students to complete 75 hours of classroom training and 100 hours of on-the-job training.”

In February, the program’s small bus that transported the students from Gibson Technical Center in Reeds Spring to Branson for that on-the-job training, broke down and was deemed irreparable. Since that time, Reeds Spring School District has been providing the program a full-sized bus, but the full-sized bus brought challenges. It required a substitute bus driver to operate it and the bus was too large maneuver the small parking lot where students receive their on-the-job training.  That’s where Skaggs Foundation was able to help. Through a Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant, the foundation has funded the purchase of a new, 24-passenger bus for the program. 

“Gibson Tech gives local high school students an opportunity to learn valuable trades, giving these students an opportunity to be career-ready when they walk across the stage at their high school graduation,” says Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grants Committee Chair Nita Jane Ayres. “It is not only putting these students on a path for a bright future but the Health Tech Program at Gibson Tech is filling a need for medical professionals in our community.” 

Skaggs Legacy Endowment was established in 2013 and since that time, the foundation has awarded more than $8.3 million to organizations working to improve health and wellness throughout Stone and Taney counties.

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