Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez and Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu visited the South Texas College (STC) Nursing and Allied Health Campus on Monday, February 14, to formally grant $2 million of the County's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) relief funds to the institution's nursing initiative.
The contribution is a part of the County of Hidalgo's American Rescue Plan Program's mission to support public health response efforts and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Hidalgo County ARPA Program was established to utilize funds granted by the American Rescue Plan Act's Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Program, which provides state, local and Tribal governments with means to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and address its impacts.
“This is the first time where [STC] sees … large funds being put into directly what is necessary to take care of the health needs of the community,” said STC President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the limits of the public health system on a national and local level. The $2 million pledge aims to address the statewide shortage of nurses by investing in the future of STC nursing students. STC plans to use the contribution to employ additional nursing instructors and retain current staff members to better equip the institution for increased enrollment in the future. Moreover, funds will also assist in achieving the institution’s goal of doubling the number of nurses that graduate from STC.
"We have a tremendous need for nurses," said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez. "What better use of [ARPA] funds than to help South Texas College, which is one of the leading institutions in training nurses."
The contribution to STC is part of the County's comprehensive goal of addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency and its impacts.
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