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PLATTSMOUTH – For better access to health care training in rural areas is the purpose of a federal grant that has just been awarded to Southeast Community College, including its learning center in Plattsmouth.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday announced the awarding of numerous such grants around the nation, including a $495,631 Distance Learning grant for the community college that serves a 15-county area, including Cass County, through its Lincoln and Beatrice campuses and learning centers in Wahoo, Nebraska City, Hebron, York, Falls City, as well as Plattsmouth.

The distribution of the nearly half-million dollar grant among the campuses and learning centers isn’t known yet, according to school officials.

The college is expected to receive the grant next spring.

According to Jill Sand, dean of health sciences at the college, the grant will provide advanced learning tools, including simulation mannequins, and equipment providing a 3D image of the human body and thereby eliminate the need for cadavers. These learning tools will be part of the creation of a multi-campus simulation laboratory spanning the college, Sand said.

In addition, the learning center in Plattsmouth will receive access to “Nurse Anne,” a mannequin, two cameras and a microphone.

“This grant will provide collaboration throughout southeast Nebraska and will open doors to health care education for individuals so they can meet the workforce demand while staying in their rural communities,” Sand said in a released statement.

Health care training in the rural areas is important, according to Andrea Gallagher, the college’s marketing specialist.

“There’s a great need and hopefully more students will get involved,” she said.

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