Good Shepherd to support Higher Education Center

Press Release Date: 


Blue Mountain Community College,

Date: June 16 , 2010
Contact:  Karen L. Hill, Public Relations, 541-278-5933 or 541-379-2753




Good Shepherd to support Higher Education Center


The Good Shepherd Health Care System board of trustees recently approved a $250,000 award to Blue Mountain Community College to support the development of high-quality science facilities for healthcare-related technical and professional programs. The first $200,000 is earmarked to outfit two science labs in the new Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center in Hermiston. The remaining $50,000 will turn an existing BMCC Hermiston space into classrooms for the training of certified nursing assistants and wellness classes. The construction projects are scheduled to commence in early October. The majority of the Higher Education Center construction dollars come from Oregon Lottery funds. 

Good Shepherd has long been a supporter of BMCC healthcare career programs. They currently provide hands-on clinical training for students in the BMCC nursing program, and the hospital partners with Pendleton’s St. Anthony Hospital, the Red & Gena Leonard Foundation, and BMCC to provide the salary for one BMCC nursing instructor. Good Shepherd trustee chairman Steve Eldrige considers the board’s award to be "…a solid investment in our community’s future. Homegrown talent is an important component of any rural hospital’s professional core. This award will help build facilities that will attract the best and brightest in our region, with a direct benefit to our patients down the line."

The 28,000-square-foot Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center will be located across the street from the current BMCC Hermiston facility on Southeast Columbia Drive. It will expand BMCC’s ability to serve area students with ten general purpose classrooms; computer, biological, and physical science labs; and space for administration, tutoring, and study. "Currently pre-med and pre-nursing students have to drive to Pendleton for lab science classes like anatomy/physiology, and chemistry," said BMCC President John Turner. "These new science labs will eliminate that inconvenience and expense and provide more opportunity for local students."