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Mercyhealth Donates $100K to Blackhawk Technical College Nursing Program

December 19, 2018

Today, Mercyhealth announced a milestone donation to Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) nursing program in Rock County. At a press conference of nearly 50 guests, Javon R. Bea, President and CEO of Mercyhealth, presented a check for $100,000 to BTC’s Nancy B. Parkers Nursing Scholars Program. In recognition of the donation, BTC has renamed a simulation lab in its Health Sciences Wing in honor of Mercyhealth.

Group Photo of Check Presentation

Group photo of check presentation: (left to right) Tracy Pierner, Laverne Hays, Sue Ripsch, Rachel Andres, Megan Scanlon, Javon Bea, Steven Pophal, Maria Hernandez, Jim Nemeth, Zahi Atallah, and Tim McKearn.

The scholarship was created by the Parker Family Foundation in the name of Nancy B. Parker for her lifelong contributions to, and involvement with, nursing activities, including her service to Mercy Hospital (now Mercyhealth) in Janesville where she served on the Board of Trustees for many years. The program targets high-achieving students who have been accepted into the BTC nursing program but have financial need. The goal is to improve nursing student recruitment and retention as well as to fill anticipated nursing shortages in Rock and Green Counties by retaining top talent in our communities.

The Parker Foundation made an initial gift of $250,000 to establish the program with a commitment to donate an additional $250,000 based on a challenge match to the local community. In total, this is a $1,000,000 investment into nursing students and the community. Mercyhealth’s donation is the lead gift in BTC’s campaign for the program. 

“This donation is a testimony of the growing and mutually beneficial partnership between Mercyhealth and Blackhawk Technical College,” said Dr. Tracy Pierner, President of BTC. “There is an increasing need for nurses and other healthcare professionals in our region. The support and trust of Mercyhealth is a vital factor in our ability to produce graduates to fill much-needed positions in our area.” 

“We are very proud of our long-standing partnership with Blackhawk Technical College. This scholarship program will help nursing students financially so they can focus on their education,” said Javon R. Bea, President and CEO of Mercyhealth. “These students train at our hospitals and facilities and we hire many students upon graduation. Blackhawk Technical College has an exceptional reputation and we’re glad to take part in increasing graduation rates and keep these wonderful students in our community – all of which help Mercyhealth retain the best nurses for our patients.”

In addition to the Mercyhealth gift, the BTC nursing program has a lot to celebrate. According to the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) Program Reports, the BTC Nursing Program earned a first-place ranking among all nursing programs (1,189 programs) in the United States and its territories. The comparison group is all RN programs (BSN, Associate Degree or Diploma) that have at least ten graduates and take the NCLEX-RN examination during the reporting year. BTC earned the first place ranking based on a student pass rate of 100% on the licensure exam.
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