News Releases

Murray Provides $1.5 Million in Funding for WSU's New Main College of Nursing Building in Spokane

Jun 21 2007

Murray includes additional $300,000 for rural healthcare telecommunications to improve access and quality at Eastern Washington hospitals

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $1.5 million for Washington State University's Intercollegiate College of Nursing (ICN) to complete research laboratories and purchase research, instruction, and communication equipment at the WSU Spokane Riverpoint campus. The funding was included in the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is a senior member of the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee. 

"This funding will help the premiere nursing college in the Northwest fund new laboratories, purchase new equipment and grow to serve more students," said Senator Murray. "This is a victory for two of our state's top goals: growing our workforce and providing better access to quality healthcare. More well-trained, professional nurses will mean better access to quality care for more Washington state residents." 

Located near Spokane Falls Community College, the Washington State University's Intercollegiate College of Nursing (ICN) is scheduled to move to a new building on the WSU Riverpoint Campus.

WSU's ICN also includes Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University and Whitworth College. The College of Nursing has 5 physical locations: Spokane, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, and Yakima.  

Several Washington State University officials discussed the importance of the funding: 

"The faculty and staff at Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing are committed to enhancing our current equipment and expertise in order to provide our students and the healthcare community with high quality state of the art simulation learning opportunities. Given the complexity of the healthcare environment we are absolutely convinced that this is the future; that simulation will play an even bigger role as a vital component of professional nursing education."

- Anne Hirsch, Interim Dean
  WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing


"The human simulation center will be an important enhancement in the education of our Health Sciences students. It will also strengthen the bond between the medical community and the University. WSU Spokane is proud to host this innovative collaboration in our expanding portfolio of core infrastructure for biomedical, life and health sciences research and education."
- Brian Pitcher, Chancellor, WSU Spokane
   Vice Provost for Health Sciences, WSU


"Thank you to Senator Murray for your support WSU’s Nursing School, this federal investment in the future of clinical education will serve as a key community resource to improve patient safety in all settings throughout the state of Washington. We will leverage the federal funds with private dollars to build the Inland Northwest Regional Clinical Simulation Center serving students in nursing, pharmacy, and medicine, and clinical professionals throughout the region, helping hospitals meet staff accreditation standards as well."
- Elson S. Floyd, President
  Washington State University

Murray Works to Improve Rural Health Care Through Telecommunications

Senator Murray also included $300,000 in the LHHS bill for telehealth equipment at three rural hospitals located in Deer Park, Colville (Mt. Carmel), and Chewelah (St. Joseph). The telehealth equipment will link the hospitals with Holy Family Hospital in Spokane. The funding will be used to train workers at the three rural facilities to use and maintain the new telehealth equipment. 

"Too often rural residents are limited in their ability to see specialists, and rural healthcare workers are limited in their ability to learn new techniques and collaborate on critical decisions," said Senator Murray. "This funding will help eliminate those limitations. Every rural resident deserves access to the best care and every rural doctor deserves access to the best information.  I am pleased to help fund the technologies that are making quality health care more accessible to all."

In addition to providing increased access, telehealth equipment will improve the ability of the rural hospitals to participate in distance learning and teleconferencing.  It will also improve the overall level of information that is available to health care providers, patients and their families. 

Now that Murray's funding has passed the committee, it will move to the Senate floor for consideration.  Senator Murray will continue to use her position in the Senate to improve healthcare access, affordability and innovation for residents throughout Washington state.