Baptist Health Paducah Gift Helping Healthcare Education at WKCTC

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PADUCAH, KY (09/10/2018) Baptist Health Paducah has invested $200,000 in meeting the region's future healthcare needs with a gift to the associate degree nursing program and an endowment for healthcare education at West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC). Paducah Junior College, Inc. (PJC), the charitable foundation for WKCTC, announced the gift today.

Anton Reece, WKCTC president, said the gift from Baptist Health continues a 16-year partnership that allows more registered nurses to earn their degrees each year.

"This generous support has been instrumental in allowing us to graduate two classes of registered nurses annually, one each fall and one each spring," said Reece. "We're delighted with Baptist Health's commitment to continue and build upon this important partnership as we look to future workforce needs."

Chris Roty, Baptist Health Paducah president, said 90 percent of all RNs hired at Baptist this year are WKCTC graduates. The hospital also relies on the college's other healthcare programs for additional professionals.

"Our local college provides highly-trained professionals for most of our workforce needs," Roty said, "and, therefore, it is essential for us to offer continuing support to keep this pipeline to meet the future needs of serving our patients."

According to a Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2024 report, the state's need for full-time registered nurses will increase 36 percent from 2014 to 2024, with increased demand in additional healthcare fields also expected.

Lee Emmons, WKCTC vice president of advancement and PJC executive director, praised Baptist Health for contributing to both the endowment fund and current nursing education programs. "Long-term sustainability is always a goal," Emmons said, "but we can't sacrifice support for current needs either; we very much appreciate the generous contribution from Baptist Health which addresses immediate needs while building for the future."

According to Emmons, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Foundation has a matching funds program for endowment gifts that meet specified requirements. More information about giving to the Healthcare Education to Work Endowment Fund or providing other support to PJC and WKCTC is available by contacting Emmons at or 270-534-3084.