Benedict College will participate in a Clemson University-led statewide effort 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 assist 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 engage 100 students to join the corps during the two-year grant period. The students will get a chance to learn about volunteering in the medical, behavioral health and non-medical communities during emergency situations. They also will 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 receive workforce development that will support the community during critical times,” Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College, said in a news release.
A primary goal of the initiative is to help address the emergency response worker shortage revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.
Students will receive training in areas such as contact tracing certification, program management, behavior health self-care, care of marginalized populations and global and transcultural health.
Henry Counts will direct the project at Benedict, working with Tami Ashford Carroll who will serve as program coordinator, Scott Blanks as faculty liaison and Paula Shelby as campus liaison.
The S.C. Public Health Reserve Corps has about 1,828 volunteers, including 1,287 non-licensed and 641 licensed health and social science professionals. The grant is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.