By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart

Campus was abuzz on Monday, June 24, 2024, as members of the SUNY Broome community welcomed SUNY Chancellor Dr. John B. King Jr. for his annual visit. Much to SUNY Broome’s delight, Chancellor King had a special mission behind his trip to the Southern Tier. Together with SUNY Broome’s President, Dr. Tony Hawkins, and a collection of legislators, Chancellor King announced that SUNY Broome will receive a portion of $8 million in recurring annual funding to support SUNY’s 30 community colleges. 

Of the $8 million in funding, SUNY Broome will receive $450,000. $350,000 will be allocated to support workforce development initiatives within the College’s Nursing: A.A.S. program. The remaining $100,000 will be designated for the Counseling Services department to support the mental health and wellness of the student body. 

“If you have visited a hospital, long-term nursing facility, or doctor’s office in Broome County, it is highly likely that you have been cared for by a SUNY Broome nursing graduate,” President Hawkins explained. “This funding will allow us to hire additional faculty members in order to increase capacity and access to the College’s nursing programs for students. We will gradually add slots to our nursing programs to increase enrollment by a projected 45% from our 2023 enrollment by the 2026 – 2027 academic year.”

Assemblyman Joe Angelino shared his appreciation for the connection between funding healthcare development and mental health support. “As a Boomer, I’m thankful that the State has recognized the need for an expanded healthcare workforce. Providing funding for mental health support  will ensure that SUNY Broome students are being cared for as they study to learn how to take care of us.”

Tour attendees explore the anatomage table.
Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

After arriving on campus, Chancellor King, President Hawkins, and campus community members toured the Decker Health Science Center, particularly noting the advancements in simulation technologies used in clinical training. At the conclusion of the tour, a selection of SUNY Broome representatives and local political and healthcare leaders convened to discuss initiatives to bolster the local healthcare workforce pipeline. 

Chancellor King and President Hawkins participated in the Healthcare Workforce Pipeline roundtable discussion. Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

Participants in the Healthcare Workforce Pipeline roundtable discussion included: 

  • Dr. John B. King, Jr., SUNY Chancellor 
  • Valerie Grey, Senior Vice Chancellor for Health & Hospital Affairs
  • Johanna Duncan Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline 
  • Lea Webb (LA’ 01), New York State Senator – District 52
  • Joseph Angelino, New York State Assemblyman – District 121
  • Donna Lupardo, New York State Assemblywoman – District 123
  • Dr. Edmund Sanbanegh, President and CEO of Guthrie Clinic
  • Gerald Putnam, Executive Director of the Dr. G Clifford and Florence B. Decker Foundation
  • Kathryn Connerton, President, Guthrie-Lourdes Hospital,  SUNY Broome Board of Trustees Chair 
  • Dr. Tony D. Hawkins, President of SUNY Broome Community College
  • Dr. Penny Kelly, Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Kimberly B. McLain, Associate Vice President and Dean of Health Sciences & Institutional Effectiveness
  • Michele L. McKay, Associate Dean of Nursing
  • Danielle F. Britton, Director of Training, Education and Workforce Development
  • Cathy R. Williams, Executive Director of Broome Community College Foundation
  • Brandy Banchs (RN’24), 2024 Chancellor’s Award Winner and Recent RN Graduate 
  • Daniel (Dan) Auber, Current RNEW Student
  • Stasia Simmons, Current LPN to RN Transition Pathway Student

Chancellor King concluded the event with a plea to all in attendance to encourage New York State students to complete the FAFSA in preparation for the upcoming academic year. Students with questions about completing the FAFSA or are or in need of one on one assistance are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Student Financial Services Learning Lab. 

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