Respiratory Care Program to receive more than $250,000 as part of $1.5M grant

Sep 29th, 2022

The Jackson State Community College (JSCC) Respiratory Care Program has been announced as a recipient of a larger $1.5 million grant through Baptist Memorial Hospital -- Union City that will provide scholarships to 24 West Tennessee residents.

The Health Resources & Services Administration's Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program awarded Baptist Memorial Hospital – Union City a 3-year, $1.5 million grant focused on education, training and employment opportunities for community paramedic/emergency medical technicians and respiratory therapists.

As a partial grant recipient, the JSCC Respiratory Care Program will receive $283,542 that will provide scholarships to 24 West Tennessee students. These scholarships will cover tuition, fees, books, and a small annual stipend for additional expenses.

"The demand for Respiratory Therapists has grown and is projected to continue to grow over the next several years. Respiratory Care across the country has had to rapidly expand to meet the needs of the communities they serve and to replace retiring therapists," said Respiratory Care Program Director, Christie Ward. "This grant will allow us to meet that need and provide the financial assistance necessary to keep students focused on excelling in both the classroom and the field."

Students from the following nine Northwest Tennessee counties may qualify to receive the funding:

  • Obion
  • Weakley
  • Henry
  • Dyer
  • Lake
  • Carroll
  • Benton
  • Gibson
  • Crockett

The purpose of HRSA's Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program is to expand public health capacity by supporting healthcare job development, training, and placement in rural and tribal communities. The goal of this program is to enhance clinical and operational capacity to address the population health needs of rural communities affected by COVID-19, including those dealing with the effects of long COVID. The program addresses the ongoing critical need in healthcare facilities for trained public health professionals in rural communities.

“We are seeing a growing demand for Respiratory Therapists in our community and across the country," said JSCC President, Dr. George Pimentel. "This grant will allow us to provide students with an opportunity to fill a growing need in the West Tennessee community and open doors for their careers. This grant will positively impact the lives of our students who otherwise might not have been able to attend college through their own financial means."

The grant period will run from Aug. 1, 2022 through July 31, 2025.

If you are interested in applying for one of the 24 grant positions available, please contact Christie Ward at

For more information on the Respiratory Care Program, go to

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program award totaling $1,478,737 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

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