News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Subcommittee, announced that she has included funding to boost Southwest Washington education, labor, and health care priorities in the Fiscal Year 2011 LHHS Appropriations bill.

"In the 21st century economy, it is critical that we continue investing in local projects that train our workforce, teach our students, and boost our economy in communities throughout Southwest Washington," said Senator Murray. "These investments will fund community priorities like employment programs for women veterans and teacher training. I was proud to fight for these local investments, and I'm going to continue working to help Washington state communities meet the needs of their families.”

Having passed the LHHS Subcommittee, the bill will now go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee before going to the full Senate for consideration.

The following projects were included in the bill for Southwest Washington:

Partners in Careers, Veteran Women Program – $100,000

This funding will go towards the creation of pre-employment training programs that will serve 150 female veterans. The Veteran Women Program will also develop job shadowing, internship, and job placement opportunities for female veterans.

“Our women veterans are coming home with great skills as well as great challenges. The VWP is here to help women veterans get the support they need to reconnect, find jobs and strengthen families and communities,” said Pam Brokaw, Executive Director of Partners in Careers.

Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, STEM Industry-Based Teacher Training Initiative – $100,000

This funding would allow the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council to provide middle and high school teachers with the knowledge and training they need to provide for their students.

“This project provides a creative and cost-effective way to help teachers gain valuable information about how to make math and science more real to students and relevant to the world of work,” said Lisa Nisenfeld, SWWDC Executive Director. “The interactive and industry-focused training through the highly successful High Tech U program, coupled with follow-up work shops on how to best apply learnings in the classroom, will go a long way towards engaging students and informing them about possible math and science related career paths right in their own backyard.”

St. John Medical Center Foundation, St. John Medical Center Simulation Education Project – $100,000

This funding will enable St. John Medical Center to purchase a programmable simulation “family” of mannequins which will be used throughout the region to provide unique medical training and education. These mannequins will be used for simulation education and will allow for more training for high risk, low volume medical procedure so that providers have sharp and current skills to handle all types of medical situations.  This simulation education will also increase patient safety and promote workforce development in a rural, medically underserved area. 

Josiah Johnson, CEO of St. John Medical Center said, “The ability to provide simulation mannequin training will help bridge the gap between academic training and on-boarding of nursing students into our organization and it will promote workforce development in the Lower Columbia Region.”

Legacy Health System, Legacy Pediatric Critical Care Telemedicine Service – $125,000

This funding will purchase mobile telemedicine units to improve pediatric health outcomes.

“Providing high quality care for children is one of society’s highest priorities, but often that’s not always possible for rural communities that don’t have access to the kinds of pediatric specialists that are mostly found in major metropolitan areas. As an example, the Journal of Rural Health recently stated that emergency physicians in rural hospitals reported low confidence in pediatric emergencies and expressed the need for additional training in pediatric emergencies as their top priority. The technology that is available to us through telemedicine can eliminate those concerns. Telemedicine allows us to put our top pediatric specialists at the bedside of any rural hospital in the region, giving rural physicians the confidence they need to provide the highest and safest quality care possible to their smallest patients,” said George J. Brown, M.D., FACP, President and CEO of Legacy Health.