SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Thanks to a nearly $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA), Cox College in Springfield will transform the college’s simulation laboratory.

According to a press release, the funds will be used to renovate and expand the lab to train nursing students on critical equipment, so they are better equipped to assist patients during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are so excited about this grant and what it means to our students, and to all of the region,” says Dr. Amy DeMelo, president of Cox College. “The number of nursing students in our programs has greatly increased in recent months, following our expansion, which was partially funded by a separate EDA grant and local donors. We look forward to what this new equipment offers to our students during their training.”

The grant will expand the current simulation lab to include:

  • Nine simulation rooms
  • Three control centers
  • Five debriefing rooms

The grant will also improve the simulation manikins; Ozarks First toured the facility and noticed the manikins could talk, breathe, have life-like veins, and can do bowel movements. With the increased space, the college will be able to house more students. Currently, there are 250 students, and now the capacity will rise to 400.

“We have seen an amazing transformation at Cox College over recent months with the renovation of the facility, ultimately bringing great benefit to the entire region through increased numbers of health care professionals,” says Lisa Alexander, president of the CoxHealth Foundation. “By expanding the simulation lab, we are adding another layer of training and expertise for our students. This will help them be even more prepared to hit the ground running upon graduation to care for our community. It will also help add more good-paying jobs to the region.”