While the weather seemed to be somewhat inhospitable, Dr. Leslie West Sands proclaimed, “This is a beautiful day!” Despite the weather, nearly 200 individuals from the community came out at Jackson State Monday to celebrate the official opening of the Jim Moss Center for Nursing and to honor the man for whom it was named.
Dr. Warren Nichols, Vice Chancellor of Community Colleges for the Tennessee Board of Regents, mentioned that this day was the “…culmination of over 3 years of planning and design.” Dr. West Sands and everyone else at JSCC understand that this is really the culmination of 25 years of hard work and patience.
As Dr. West Sands explained in her comments to the attendees, the program has experienced growing pains over the years as it first began in the Math & Science Building and moved on campus multiple times over the years. “Mr. Moss and West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) have been and continue to be loyal supporters of the nursing program at Jackson State,” she states.
Mr. Moss delivered comments that were marked by gratitude and humility. He noted the contributions and commitment of WTH leadership and staff and how any credit and recognition he received this day also belonged to everyone else in the organization.
The long-standing relationship between WTH and JSCC was also recognized beyond the 25-year relationship with the nursing program. Moss recounted how the college began its allied health program in 1969 with radiography and continued to support the medical community with the addition of respiratory care, EMT, paramedic, medical lab technician, and eventually physical therapist assistant. Growth in allied health has continued at JSCC this past year with the addition of occupational therapy assistant.
Dr. Bruce Blanding, president of JSCC, also commented about the unwavering support of WTH throughout the years and how the partnership between the two organizations benefits the communities of West Tennessee in so many ways. Dr. Blanding thanked Mr. Moss and WTH for their leadership and contributions to Jackson and West Tennessee and for the faith in and support of JSCC throughout the years.
As Dr. West Sands stated and Dr. Blanding concurred, it was a beautiful day at Jackson State Community College. Dr. Blanding also extended an invitation to another beautiful day on November 20. That is when ground will be broken for the construction of a new health sciences building to house all of the other allied health programs.