Pikes Peak Community College Rampart Range Campus
PPCC's Rampart Range Campus.

Pikes Peak Community College has won a $900,000 grant from the Colorado Springs Health Foundation to help build PPCC’s state-of-the-art Center for Healthcare Education & Simulation.

PPCC estimates that by 2022, the new $20 million facility will help turn out an estimated 325 additional health care graduates each year, increasing the flow of grads into the Pikes Peak region’s workforce. 

“The region’s current healthcare worker shortage is a result of a perfect storm,” according to a PPCC news release issued Apr. 29. “Not only is our region growing exponentially but our population is aging, including our nurses. PPCC has been working in partnership with local health care providers for two years to find solutions.”

The 69,000-square-foot Center for Healthcare Education & Simulation will house an interdisciplinary simulation lab — the only one of its kind in the region — as well as the nursing, surgical technology, pharmacy tech, EMS, dental assisting and medical assisting programs. It will be built just north of PPCC’s Rampart Range Campus.

The CSHF gift is part of the $6 million PPCC still needs to raise for equipment to ensure the simulation lab is fully state of the art and for scholarships, according to the release.

One of the crucial benefits of the simulation labs is that students learn to communicate and collaborate across departments, significantly increasing positive patient outcomes.

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CSHF’s donation to PPCC was the largest portion of the $3.4 million in grants given to 33 organizations serving El Paso and/or Teller counties. Recipients were chosen based on one or more of the Foundation’s funding focus areas: access to care for those in the greatest need, suicide prevention, healthy environments and healthcare workforce shortages.

“As we enter our fourth year of grantmaking, we continue to assess the Pikes Peak region’s health needs and align our investments accordingly in order to have the greatest impact on community health. We value the work of the many organizations and individuals that work tirelessly to ensure that all El Paso and Teller County residents achieve their full health potential,” Debbie Chandler, CSHF board chair, said in a CSHF-issued news release.