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Methodist University School of Nursing receives half-million-dollar grant

15 Nursing StudentThe U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded a grant of more than $499,000 to the Nursing Department at Methodist University. The funds target specific training for pre-licensure public health nursing students and faculty to recognize and respond to opioid use and strengthen the professional development of public health nurses across North Carolina.

The investment in MU by HRSA to equip tomorrow’s nursing health care professionals is a solid investment and a step in the right direction to combat North Carolina’s opioid crisis.

MU’s was the only program in the Carolinas, public or private, to receive the grant and only 10 other nursing programs in the country received the award (including Ohio State University, Texas A&M, University of Tennessee, Emory University and the University of Cincinnati).

“During the early days of the pandemic shut-down last spring, everyone became acutely aware of the need for highly qualified public health nurses,” said Shannon Matthews, director of Nursing at MU.

“In addition to community strain on the public health system due to COVID-19, opioid overdose and substance misuse have reached all-time highs in Cumberland County and surrounding communities," Matthews said.

The Methodist University Nursing Program graduated its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing class in 2014. Since then, the program has awarded nursing degrees to more than 170 graduates, many of whom have remained in North Carolina and the greater Fayetteville and Cumberland County areas. The program provides future nurses with a hands-on education using state-of-the-art simulation technology — including the MU General Simulation Hospital — as well as simulated patients of all ages. Cameras are equipped throughout the hospital to observe and guide students through their studies.

“Nursing is one of the jewels in the crown at Methodist University — a university that is becoming rapidly known for its excellent health care programs,” said MU President Dr. Stanley Wearden. “This investment from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration will not only help educate our students but prepare them for the hard work ahead in combatting North Carolina’s opioid crisis as health care professionals.”

Methodist University’s Simulation Education Training-Recovery Now (SET-RN) is led by highly qualified and experienced public health nurse educators and prepares public health nursing students to directly impact objectives in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

For the next two-years, the goal of MU’s nursing program is to prepare 75 unique pre-licensure nursing students with enhanced public nursing competencies to recognize and respond to substance and opioid misuse by creating enhanced interprofessional education simulation exercises in their state-of-the-art facilities.

“Simulation scenarios and clinical experiences reflective of substance misuse will be threaded throughout the nursing curriculum to help our graduates recognize and respond to adult, adolescent, and pediatric clients with substance misuse and overdose in a variety of settings,” said Matthews.

With this new grant, MU will strengthen statewide support and professional development by delivering workshops for nursing faculty and collaborate with state professional nursing organizations.

Nursing faculty member and Simulation Director, Mitzi Averette, MSN, RN, CNE, CHSE, is a long-time advocate for recovery and will be the project coordinator. Averette has strong connections in the community and is a champion of increasing public awareness and resources to address substance misuse and developing programs to reduce stigma associated with substance use disorder. Averette has already begun work establishing collegiate recovery groups on local campuses and promoting training for faculty and students in recovery strategies.

“We are excited to begin this project and the positive impact it will have on public health nursing and the care of those struggling with substance use disorders,” Matthews said.

Methodist University is an independent, four-year institution of higher education with about 2,000 students from across the U.S. and more than 40 countries. MU offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs (including doctoral-level options) on campus and online. To learn more about MU visit methodist.edu.

Pictured: The federal grant Methodist University received targets specific training for pre-licensure public health nursing students and faculty to recognize and respond to opioid use and strengthen the professional development of public health nurses across North Carolina. (Photo courtesy Methodist University)

 

FTCC launches campaign to attract more adult learners back to college

14 99431256 3072861549424143 3731088603145568256 oDr. Larry Keen, President of Fayetteville Technical Community College, is calling on adults across the greater Fayetteville region to visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com as a first step to gain the skills they need to secure the jobs they want.

“After a year of challenges like no other, we know most adults understand it’s time to skill up, retool, and retrain — either to advance in their current careers or to change careers entirely,” Dr. Keen said. “So we are making an extra push this summer to reach out to and inform as many adults as possible about the variety of fast, flexible and affordable programs we offer.

“From allied health training, to automotive systems technology, to systems security and analysis, and many more programs, our courses are a direct pipeline to many of our region’s top employers,” Dr. Keen said. “That’s why we hope everyone will visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com today to quickly connect with us and explore all of the opportunities we offer that can lead to better skills, a better job, a bigger paycheck and an even brighter future.”

FTCC is a regional source for education and training in Cumberland County, with campuses in Fayetteville and Spring Lake, and an educational training center on Fort Bragg. The college offers more than 200 job-ready programs.

The Better Skills. Better Jobs. campaign is a pilot project launched in early 2021 across five North Carolina community colleges to proactively reach out to and attract more adults back to college. Other key funders and partners for the initiative include the John M. Belk Endowment and myFutureNC.

“The John M. Belk Endowment is pleased to partner with Fayetteville Technical Community College and four other outstanding community colleges to catalyze and supercharge their efforts to recruit and support adult students,” said MC Belk Pilon, President and Board Chair of the John M. Belk Endowment. “In a matter of months on a community college campus, adult learners can acquire skills and credentials that can change their families’ economic trajectory.”

“The vast majority of higher-wage jobs today require more than a high school diploma, but that is something that less than half of North Carolinians in this age range currently have,” said Cecilia Holden, President and CEO of myFutureNC. “We know better skills lead to better jobs and to a stronger and more economically vibrant North Carolina. We are very pleased to be partnering on this important new initiative.”

The John M. Belk Endowment is a private family foundation committed to transforming postsecondary educational opportunities to meet North Carolina’s evolving workforce needs. Its mission is aligned with the vision of its founder, the late John M. Belk, who served four terms as mayor of Charlotte and was CEO of the department store company Belk, Inc. Now led by Mr. Belk’s daughter, MC Belk Pilon, the John M. Belk Endowment continues to partner with innovative, results-oriented programs in North Carolina to further Mr. Belk’s values, legacy, and focus on the value of education as a means to personal fulfillment and community vitality. For more information, please visit jmbendowment.org.

myFutureNC is a statewide nonprofit with the goal to create a stronger, more competitive North Carolina. myFutureNC is working across sectors and in communities throughout the state to close gaps in the education pathway, to promote alignment between educational programming and business/industry needs, and to ultimately improve educational opportunities. For more information, please visit myfuturenc.org.

For more information about FTCC’s Better Skills. Better Jobs. initiative, visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com/FTCC/.

Pictured: The Better Skills.Better Jobs campaign aims to get adults the instruction and job skills that lead to better employment opportunities. (Photo courtesy FTCC)

Find your way forward with a rewarding STEM career

13 N1809P02001CThe world has changed dramatically over the past year. We have faced unprecedented challenges that affected every single aspect of life.

We have adapted, overcome and improvised on a daily basis in order to cope with the new normal of life. From wearing masks in public and keeping a safe distance to complete isolation, people have made major adjustments to their lives in order to cope with the pandemic. And, sadly, for many, the situation created by the pandemic has ultimately led to a desperate struggle for survival.

Fortunately, we live in an era of technology. We are able to do things now that were impossible for past generations.

We can telework, order food online, Skype, Facetime and teleconference from our homes or even from the palms of our hands. Even during times of isolation, we are able to stay virtually connected and be productive.

Throughout the pandemic, a good number of people were able to continue working and feed themselves, thanks to the advances of the last century and especially the last few decades.

We now take things such as cars, computers, smartphones and the internet for granted, but these items have made coping with the pandemic a completely different experience when compared to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

We still face challenges, however, and it doesn’t look like things are going to go back to what we remember as normal for a while. To face these challenges, we are going to need fresh new minds to invent new ways of doing things. We now have a generation of young people who grew up in a world of technology and have an innate understanding of how to live in a cyber-connected world.

Unfortunately, technology can be a two-edged sword, and with so many distractions, many are falling short of their true potential.

The U.S. education system has been pushing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and careers for years because of the shortage of people in these degree fields.

Now that we are faced with new challenges stemming from the pandemic, we need STEM-educated individuals now even more than ever. Who will research new cures, invent new ways to work and communicate, or design the next generation of ventilators?

An old adage (late 1800s) states, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” But these words are far from the truth. Think of everything that has been invented since the late 1800s. Had this been true back then, we would still be riding horses for primary transportation and reading by candlelight. Without the technological advances of the last century, our current crisis would have been much more difficult to navigate.

So, here’s a call for individuals to accept the challenge to become the next generation of scientists, inventors and engineers. You may be the one who invents something new that positively changes
our world.

FTCC’s Associate Degree Engineering program can help you begin this exciting journey. Fall classes begin Aug. 16. Apply for Fall classes today and allow FTCC to help you find your way forward. For more information visit https://www.faytechcc.edu/.

Fort Bragg needs military boot donations for memorial display

08 FAP 9463Fort Bragg is calling out to the military community and public to donate boots for the annual boot display in remembrance of those who have lost their lives since 9/11.

The boot display is traditionally held in May to align with the Memorial Day observance. This year, the observation will coincide with the “Run, Honor, Remember 5K” memorial run on Aug. 28 and the All American Run on Aug. 30 for the 82nd Airborne Division’s All American Week.

“We are in need of 1,000 pairs of any and all types of military boots in good condition,” said Elvia Kelly, spokeswoman for the Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Office. “We’re asking the community to donate any of their unwanted or unused military boots to help us honor and remember fallen service members.”

Each boot displayed at Hedrick Stadium represents an active-duty service member who has fallen since 9/11. Volunteers prep the boots by carefully tying each lace and placing an empty bottle of water inside the boot as a foundation to hold its form.

The boots are lined up in rows across the field, where volunteers attach a personalized tag with a photo of a fallen service member and includes a unit and date
of death.

“In addition to attaching personalized tags, volunteers place an American flag in each boot,” said Kelly. “It takes six to eight hours to setup the boot display on the field.”

Due to extreme weather in the past years such as rain, there has been a breakdown of the boots and about 4,600 boots were discarded due to damage.

Currently it takes over 7,500 individual boots to complete the memorial display at Hedrick Stadium and Fort Bragg needs 1,000 more boots to reach their goal of representing all the fallen service members.

The deadline for the boot donation is on or before Aug. 13, which allows Survivor Outreach Services and volunteers to prep the boots for display.

“The memorial boot display is open to everyone who has a Department of Defense ID card or those who can obtain a visitor’s access pass from the All American Visitor Center,” Kelly mentioned. “The display setup begins Friday, Aug. 27 and the boots will remain on the field until Monday, Aug. 30.”

“It’s a powerful sight to see the memorial boot display when doing a run around Hedrick Stadium or walking across the field seeing each individual boot after being carefully prepared by volunteers,” said Kelly.

“The field is lined up with boots in order beginning from 2001 to 2021 with a photo and identification tag.”

Fort Bragg began setting up boots as a memorial display in May 2014, marking this year as the 7th anniversary for the display that is hosted and coordinated by Survivor Outreach Services in honor of all fallen service members who were on active duty since 9/11 and service members who died in an incident such as a training accident or illness on Fort Bragg and North Carolina.

“The event is an opportunity for the community to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our nation by participating in the run or visiting the memorial boot display,” Kelly said.

The Survivor Outreach Services is part of the Army Casualty Continuum of Care and is designed to provide long-term support to surviving families of fallen soldiers.

“The program offers assistance such as support coordinators to surviving family members during a time of tremendous grief,” Kelly said. “Our goal is to reassure survivors feel they remain valued members of the Army family.”

Boots can be donated on Fort Bragg at the following locations:
-Soldier and Family Readiness Group Center, 236 Interceptor Road, Pope Army Airfield
-Soldier Support Center Main Lobby in Bldg. 4-2843 on Normandy Drive
-Survivor Outreach Services, Building 4-2133 on Normandy Drive

Boots can also be dropped off at the Up & Coming Weekly office located at 208 Rowan St. in Fayetteville no later than Aug. 12.
For additional information or questions, the community can contact Survivor Outreach Services at 910-396-0384 or visit their website at https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/sos.

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Pictured: The annual memorial boot display will be held in August this year and will coincide with the "Run, Honor, Remember 5K" run and the 82nd Airborne Division's All American Week. (Photos courtesy Fort Bragg Garrison PAO)

National Night Out set for Aug. 3

07 NNO FPD 219293651 4410826818948292 1410943859391408261 nOn Tuesday, Aug. 3, the Fayetteville Police Department will join Community Watch groups throughout the city for National Night Out. It’s an effort to build safer and better neighborhoods through community involvement and provides as opportunity to get to know your neighbors and send a message to criminals that your neighborhood is no place for them.

Citizens and Community Watch groups can register their events with the police department by visiting FayPD.com and filling out an electronic form.

Additionally, an interactive map has been placed on the department’s website to help residents locate events near them. The map is updated as NNO events are registered.

While one night is certainly not a single answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods safer places year-round.

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Latest Articles

  • The media and free press: Watchdogs for democracy
  • New theater season brings something for everyone
  • Field of Honor preparations underway
  • National Night Out set for Aug. 3
  • Fort Bragg needs military boot donations for memorial display
  • FTCC launches campaign to attract more adult learners back to college
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