Funds to be used for healthcare programs and projects serving vulnerable populations

Orem, Utah — The Utah County Commission approved a $2 million grant today for the Utah Valley University (UVU) College of Health and Public Service (CHPS). The grant will be used to expand the university’s healthcare programs and projects that serve vulnerable populations.

With the funds, UVU will renovate its newly acquired building on its Lehi Campus, creating additional space for new and existing healthcare programs, including the dental hygiene community clinic, which provides low-cost services to the community. The clinic is based on UVU’s engaged learning teaching model, where dental hygiene students learn by providing services to those in need.

UVU has prioritized healthcare expansion due to the urgent need for more healthcare professionals. According to Cheryl Hanewicz, dean of the College of Health and Public Service, the pandemic-related healthcare resignations combined with the influx of new residents in Utah County have created a critical worker shortage.

“Our college is committed to creating new healthcare programs and increasing student capacity in our existing programs,” said Hanewicz. “This grant will allow us to increase the number of students in our dental hygiene, paramedic, and police academy programs and reduce space constraints in our nursing, respiratory therapy, and physician assistant programs.”

The funding also comes in response to the need for qualified workers at under-construction or recently opened Utah County hospitals.

“UVU is focused on strong collaboration with industry and our community,” said UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez. “We are rapidly working to increase the number of healthcare professionals in Utah County, so receiving this funding is a tremendous win.

“At the same time, we are looking for others to step up and work with us to expand and strengthen our vital health professions programs. An adequate supply of healthcare workers is essential to the well-being and economic security of our community.”

The $2 million grant comes from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), SLFRF is designated for healthcare projects serving individuals and families in need.


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Scott Trotter

Senior Director of Communications

Utah Valley University

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