Joe Wyatt
Published March 9, 2018

Area healthcare is getting a shot in the arm thanks to a grant in excess of a half-million dollars that has been awarded to Amarillo College and three partners by the Texas Workforce Commission.

NursingAC’s Center for Continuing Healthcare Education is the recipient and administrator of a $549,774 Skills Development Fund Grant.


The windfall gives AC the wherewithal to develop and provide training leading to certification in 23 specialty areas of healthcare and emergency medicine for up to 240 employees at three grant-partnering agencies – Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital, Northwest Texas Healthcare Systems, and Amarillo Medical Services (AMS).


The range of specializations being offered under the yearlong grant spans, but is not limited to, advanced cardiac life support, flight paramedicine, post-anesthesia care, inpatient obstetrics, cardiac vascular care, and neonatal intensive care nursing.


For those incumbent nurses and other healthcare workers, including emergency medical technicians and paramedics, the grant will cover the cost of tuition, books, supplies and even the oft-pricy capstone certification exams typically required for enhanced credentialing.


The partnering agencies will make in-kind contributions to the project by paying employee wages and benefits as they pursue these credentials, and by allocating facilities and equipment for optimal, on-site course delivery.


The courses, on average, require about 16 class hours, and each course will be offered several times throughout the year, beginning as early as mid-April, to ensure small classes and uninterrupted patient care.


“This is huge because it will have a positive impact on the overall health and wellness of the entire Panhandle,” Kim Crowley, AC’s associate dean of health sciences, said. “By ensuring we have an adequate supply of highly-skilled and specialty certified healthcare practitioners, we ultimately improve all our lives.”


Additionally, regional and Amarillo-based healthcare practitioners who are not employed by BSA, Northwest or AMS may have the opportunity to enroll in some of the grant-sponsored courses this year – at a highly reduced cost – as openings become available.


“We expect to have at least some open-enrollment opportunities,” Crowley said. “We want to be able to assist as many healthcare professionals as we possibly can in becoming certified in their chosen areas of specialization, and we want to leverage this fabulous grant for all it is worth.”


For more information about this initiative, please contact Kim Crowley at 806-354-6087 or