Schumer, Clinton Announce Key Senate Panel Approves $1 Million For Health Care Programs In The Capital Region

Senators Worked Closely With The Committee To Include Funding In Spending BillFederal Funds Awarded To Albany Medical Center And Hudson Valley Community College in Rensselaer County

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that the full Senate Appropriation Committee has approved the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education FY08 Appropriations Bill which includes $500,000 for the Albany Medical Center's Virtual Learning Center and $500,000 for Hudson Valley Community College in Rensselaer County .  The bill will now proceed to the Senate Floor as the next step in the appropriations process.  Schumer and Clinton worked closely with members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the project in this year's spending bill.


"This funding is great news for the Capital Region," said Schumer.   "By expanding the nursing program at Hudson Valley Community College and providing better training for healthcare professionals at Albany Medical Center, these projects will guarantee that the high quality of care for patients in the Capital region."


"This is wonderful news for Albany Med. These funds will help bring the dream of a state of the art teaching facility to life, where doctors, nurses and others can learn in accurately simulated medical situations, providing the ideal handson educational experience. The Virtual Learning Center is a critical part of Albany Med's commitment to training and equipping medical staff for its facilities and for the region and I am very pleased that we have been able to secure these funds to support them as they build this center," Senator Clinton said. "I am very concerned about our nation's nursing shortage and these funds for Hudson Valley Community College are another step in helping us prevent it from turning into a crisis within our healthcare system. We need nurses now more than ever and I am pleased to do whatever I can to help this program train and equip more people to enter into this amazing and lifesaving profession."


Albany Medical Center will use $500,000 in federal funds to create a Virtual Learning Center to educate and train medical students and residents, physicians, nurses, emergency response personnel (EMS) and other healthcare professionals.  This virtual learning environment will use computer simulators, including computerized mannequins and specially designed rooms that can virtually mimic a trauma suite, an operating room, or a cardiac diagnostic lab. Individuals and professionals will be able to learn a specific skill (intubations: insertion of a breathing tube into a patient); to perform minimally invasive surgical techniques; operate new equipment such as robotic surgery instruments; or learn to work as a part of a team to manage care for complex patients in virtual trauma suites.


Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) will use $500,000 in federal funds to establish a new parttime Weekend Nursing program that would allow it to expand its program by 32 students per year.  Currently, hundreds of students at HVCC are waiting to enter the Nursing Program, however, the College has been unable to expand the program without additional external funding.


Now that the bill has been approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, it will be sent to the Senate floor. Following approval by the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.

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