Today, Good Samaritan Hospital gave UNK $1 million to help build a new Health Science Education Complex on its campus. It's a process that's taken years, but now there's something to show for it.
"We've talked about this opportunity for two years and I don't think any of us thought it would come-to-for-wishing as quickly as it did," said Mike Schnieders, President and CEO, Good Samaritan Hospital.
The new building will allow UNK and UNMC to expand enrollment in its nursing division by nearly 50 percent. Schnieders says the gift is meant to help stem the nursing shortage.
"As we talk about baby boomers retiring, a lot of those baby boomers were nurses. As those nurses retire, we need to have a plan to replace those ranks," said Schnieders.
UNK will also begin offering professional programs for physician assistant, physical therapy and radiography to name a few. Schnieders says the profession has to keep up with demand.
"We know that there will be people in need especially in the State of Nebraska, people living in rural areas. We need to be here to meet their needs close to home," said Schnieders.
In addition to the donation from Good Samaritan, the Nebraska Legislature has appropriated $15 million for the project. Today's gift is only a third of what UNK needs in private funds for the $19 million complex.
UNK Chancellor Douglas Kristensen says they are moving in the right direction.
"Healthcare in this state is fundamental, it's crucial for rural Nebraska and this will help all of rural Nebraska," said Kristensen.