Jan. 14, 2005
M&T Bank is working through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation s Nursing Education Initiative to provide $150 thousand in grants to help support area students interested in studying nursing.

"There is a critical need for additional nurses throughout the region," said Dr. Edna Baehre, president of HACC, "and this additional support will help students throughout our region reach their goal of becoming nurses."

The college is already the second largest producer of registered nurses and practical nurses in the state and has nursing programs at its Harrisburg, Lancaster and Gettysburg campuses. All three programs have been expanding rapidly in recent years and a new Select Medical Health Education Pavilion is currently under construction at the college s Harrisburg Campus.

"As a regional institution itself, M&T Bank saw a way to help all of Central Pennsylvania and we re glad that - with the support and assistance of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation - that we ve been able to welcome them as an educational partner," said Baehre.

Michael S. Murchie, regional president for M&T Bank was on hand for the presentation and joined Baehre in welcoming the new partnership with HACC.

"Our region is going to need thousands of new nurses in the years ahead and by working through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation to provide grants to qualified low and moderate income nursing students enrolling at Harrisburg Area Community College; we can use the bank s resources to help address this community need. HACC is the second largest producer of nurses in the commonwealth and the college s programs help maintain quality healthcare vital to our 1,200 regional employees and all Pennsylvanians," he said.

Michael H. Hershock, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation agreed and noted that the aging of the baby boomers is about to put an additional strain on the region s nurses.

"With baby boomers continuing to grow older, the consequence of staffing shortages will become even more serious with our already overworked nurses and understaffed healthcare facilities," he said. "We are facing some real-life consequences which are just going to become ever more serious.

"M &T Bank's generous donation will help bring new nurses to work in the region," he said, while helping low-income students achieve an affordable education and a lifetime of success."

The first grants under this new program are available through the Financial Aid Office. The grants will be administered through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation and the college's own financial aid system.

M&T Bank serves customers at more than 660 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation is a non-government, nonprofit organization working to create and expand affordable options for postsecondary education for students, families and schools. The Foundation identifies key areas in need of financial assistance and creates innovative programs and services that alleviate the financial burden of tuition and other education costs. The Foundation also promotes the affordability of a quality higher education and the career opportunities that can be realized with continued education.

HACC serves nearly 16 thousand degree-seeking students in a ten county region in Central Pennsylvania. In addition, the college serves more than 50 thousand students in its workforce development and community education programs. The college operates campuses in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and Gettysburg as well as a number of off-campus community sites. As Central Pennsylvania s Community College, HACC provides degree and diploma programs in more than 150 fields.

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