Columbus, OH,
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OhioHealth, Columbus State Partnership to Double Healthcare Graduates

Joint $120 Million Investment Will Create New Training Center and Address Workforce Shortages in Nursing and Four Other Health Professions

OhioHealth and Columbus State Community College today announced an innovative partnership that will double the number of professionals trained in five healthcare fields, addressing a critical need for patient-care specialists throughout central Ohio.

The joint investment, totaling at least $120 million, will address workforce shortages being faced by provider networks throughout the region. Over the next 10 years, Columbus State will double the number of students in nursing, surgical technology, medical imaging, respiratory therapy and sterile processing – five healthcare fields where there is strong demand from both students and employers. The partnership will:

·       Establish a new 80,000-square-foot academic building, expected to be called the OhioHealth Center for Health Sciences, and renovate other classrooms and laboratories in an existing campus building, Union Hall. Columbus State will use voter-approved bond funding for the building and renovations, which are collectively anticipated to cost at least $85 million.

·       OhioHealth is providing the Columbus State Community College Foundation a $25 million endowment to expand and sustain academic programs at the college that will fund faculty and staff who train healthcare professionals in the five fields targeted for growth. OhioHealth’s gift to Columbus State is believed to be one of the largest ever to support a U.S. community college.

·       Raise at least $12 million for student support and specialized equipment for medical simulation and other hands-on training. The foundation will raise funds through private philanthropy and grants.  

·       Collaborate on innovative approaches that support positive educational, workforce and healthcare outcomes for central Ohio residents and employers.

“This bold partnership will ramp up the talent pipeline within key professions that form the backbone of our healthcare community,” said Dr. Steve Markovich, president and chief executive officer of OhioHealth. “Together, we will increase the pool of home-grown talent, keep regional healthcare strong, and address health disparities by attracting a workforce prepared to care for our diverse community.”

Columbus State President David Harrison said, “We’re thrilled to partner with OhioHealth on innovative solutions to address the health care and workforce needs of our community. OhioHealth and Columbus State have a shared focus on health equity and expanded access to high-quality care. We hope to be a national example of how community colleges can work with employer partners to create economic mobility for residents while addressing workforce needs. As we double the number of graduates from Columbus State health care programs, this partnership will provide students throughout our region with affordable, accessible career opportunities.”

Health care organizations throughout central Ohio are experiencing workforce challenges. Since the start of 2022, employers have advertised nearly 5,000 health care jobs per month in the 11-county region, according to OHIO MEANS JOBS. In addition, the Aspen Institute predicts that central Ohio will need 9,000 additional health care jobs — a 22 percent increase —by 2028 to meet demand from the region’s population growth and number of aging seniors.

The Columbus State-OhioHealth partnership will expand the pipeline of health care professionals in five high-demand healthcare fields. On average, the college currently enrolls about 1,500 students in nursing, surgical technology, medical imaging, respiratory therapy and sterile processing.

“OhioHealth is pleased to partner with Columbus State to support the well-being of students and to enhance workforce opportunities in the central Ohio region,” said Karen Morrison, president of the OhioHealth Foundation and OhioHealth senior vice president. “Working together with Columbus State, we will expand access to healthcare careers and develop a new generation of providers committed to serving our diverse and thriving community. We’re proud to be full partners in this initiative.”

Columbus State will immediately begin planning work for the OhioHealth Center for Health Sciences, the name of which will be brought to the college’s Board of Trustees for approval, and Union Hall renovations. The timing of construction will be determined after design work is completed, with a new building projected to open as early as 2027. The new center will be built near the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Spring Street on existing campus property.

In a process that began independently of the OhioHealth partnership, Columbus State is in the process of creating a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree – the college’s first bachelor’s degree program. Based on current and estimated growth among healthcare systems in the region, there are thousands of openings for BSN-trained nurses in the region. The program, currently undergoing state and accreditation review, is expected to welcome its first class in fall 2024.  

Students who graduate from Columbus State are well prepared for work, passing certification exams that lead to automatic job offers at rates that exceed state and national averages. For example, 88% of graduates in Columbus State's registered nursing program have certified for employability since 2020 — the highest passing rate among Ohio’s community colleges that produce at least 50 graduates per year.

 “This major development in Columbus’s Opportunity Corridor is a huge step forward for the city’s healthcare industry, our network of higher education institutions and our downtown,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This is another example of the Columbus way brought to life, with a public-private partnership that benefits us all.”  

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About Columbus State
Serving more than 40,000 students annually, Columbus State is the largest community college in Ohio. The college has been nationally recognized for advancements in student success and workforce innovation, including the prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award.

Among other collaborations to enhance student success and career opportunities, Columbus State convenes the Workforce Advisory Council, comprised of the chief talent officers of the largest employers in the region; co-facilitates the Central Ohio Compact, an alliance of leaders from K-12, higher education, employers, and social service groups focused on student achievement; and partners with four-year universities to offer debt-free pathways to bachelor’s degrees. 

About OhioHealth
Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.  

Serving its communities since 1891, OhioHealth is a family of 35,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 14 hospitals, three joint-venture hospitals, one managed-affiliate hospital, 200+ ambulatory sites and other health services spanning a 50-county area. It has been recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” 15 times since 2007. For more information, visit