Programs

$3 million dedicated to medical education programs in Springdale.

The Springdale City Council has approved $3 million in U.S. Rescue Plan funds to help with medical training through the Upskill NWA program.

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas — A new program to train medical professionals in northwest Arkansas says its mission is to remove all barriers that prevent students from achieving their educational goals.

“I’m a physician assistant and I wanted to develop those skills and do more for the community and the people around me,” said Jennie McDonald.

McDonald is an Upskill NWA participant in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale.

McDonald is one of 100 program participants who attend NWTI, UAMS and Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC). Upskill NWA offers eight programs, including Surgical Technology and Respiratory Therapist. She says she is grateful that the program allows her to pursue her dream.

“Not having to worry about how I pay for school has been a huge stress reliever,” she said. “It allowed me to focus more on the program and maintain my grades and study.”

Upskill NWA President and CEO Carol Silva Moralez says the program is free thanks to the Excellerate Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, the Springdale City Council approved $3 million in U.S. bailout funds for the program. They plan to use the money to help construct a new building on the NWTI campus.

“It only takes one Jenny to feed us to find 100 more, then 100 more and 100 more. What we do know is that we are changing lives, not just Jenny’s life, but the lives of her children seeing their mother graduate from college,” said participant Silva Moralez.

Moralez says participants not only receive training, but also a career navigator and childcare. She says our region has produced excellent medical professionals, but they did not stay and work here. That’s why, with this program, participants are committed to working in Northwest Arkansas, benefiting the region and helping to fill the void.

“That extra income is then spent right here where the participant lives, so it’s a win-win,” she said. in northwestern Arkansas.”

Upskill NWA says the program is currently full, but they have a waiting list for people to join.

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