Benedict College will participate in a statewide effort led by Clemson University to prepare students as Medical Reserve Corps volunteers.
The Clemson University School of Nursing received an award of more than $2.7 million to develop a network of diverse undergraduate students who can organize locally to help communities during disasters and other emergencies. The grant provides for a multi-institutional collaboration that includes Clemson and Benedict as well as Claflin University, Coastal Carolina University, and Francis Marion University.
Each school will hire 100 students to join the corps during the two-year grant period. Students will have the opportunity to learn about volunteering in the medical, behavioral health, and non-medical communities during emergency situations. They will also participate in a workforce development program to introduce them to the professional field of emergency response and preparedness.
“Benedict College is proud to partner with Clemson University and our peer institutions to provide our students with an invaluable opportunity to benefit from workforce development that will support the community during critical times” , said Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. Press release.
One of the main goals of the initiative is to help address the shortage of emergency response personnel revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.
Students will receive training in areas such as contact tracing certification, program management, behavioral health self-care, care of marginalized populations, and global and cross-cultural health.
Henry Counts will lead the project at Benedict, along with Tami Ashford Carroll who will act as program coordinator, Scott Blanks as faculty liaison and Paula Shelby as campus liaison.
The SC Public Health Reserve Corps has approximately 1,828 volunteers, including 1,287 unlicensed and 641 licensed health and social science professionals. The grant is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Contact Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.