The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas has given Pulaski Tech $56,000 to establish a replicable model for distance education training for more anesthesia technologists at sites throughout Arkansas.
Patrick O'Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation, visited the campus last week and presented the Foundation with an oversized check.
Pulaski Tech began offering an Anesthesia Technology program in January 2012 - the first of its kind in Arkansas. Training is offered at the college's main campus in North Little Rock and at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. This month, the college will offer training at locations of the Baptist Health system and at Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith.
Classes will be taught online with live and recorded video classroom experiences taught by Arkansas Children's Hospital faculty. Clinical experiences will be completed at local hospitals and Sparks Regional Medical Center. Pulaski Tech is continuing to recruit hospital partners across Arkansas for the distance education program.
The grant is being used to train faculty and students in using educational technology, to create an archive of video lectures, and to support live streaming of lectures. The college has hired a digital media specialist/videographer to record the classes and to train the faculty and students.
Pulaski Tech currently offers the state's only Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health degree with an option in Anesthesia Technology.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield established the Blue & You Foundation in 2001 as a charitable foundation to promote better health in Arkansas. The Blue & You Foundation awards grants annually to non-profit or governmental organizations and programs that positively affect the health of Arkansans.
"The need for medical technologists will continue to grow, especially in rural areas of our state," said Patrick O'Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation. "Supporting this program at Pulaski Tech is a way to not only train more medical caregivers for the future, it also uses distance-learning technology to reach students who live in rural areas of Arkansas and may choose to practice there."