South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) is proud to announce the opening of its cutting-edge Home Health Training Lab, located at the T.H. Harris Campus in Opelousas. This lab, created as part of the “A Legacy of Caring in the Home and Community," began as a $2.5 million dollar investment in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. A result of an extraordinary partnership between SLCC, LHC Group, and the Myers Family Foundation, this training lab aims to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals for the dynamic and burgeoning field of home healthcare.
The Home Health Training Lab at T.H. Harris Campus makes its debut as a state-of-the-art, immersive environment that replicates the comfort of a patient's bedroom or living room. This unique facility offers SLCC healthcare students the opportunity to gain direct experience, practice essential skills, and develop their abilities in a realistic home care setting. Equipped with an advanced computerized simulation mannequin that can mimic a variety of clinical scenarios, this lab provides students with invaluable learning experiences as they respond to the care needs of their "patients."
The establishment of Home Health Labs across SLCC's rural campuses marks a significant milestone in the "Legacy" project. Similar labs have already been introduced in Lafayette, Abbeville, Ville Platte, Morgan City, and St. Martinville to date, with a lab in Crowley opening early next month. These interconnected labs play a pivotal role in cultivating a well-prepared workforce to meet the growing demand in the healthcare industry. The remarkable $2.5 million investment in this project represents a historic landmark and a substantial private contribution to a community college in the state of Louisiana.
Dr. Vincent June, SLCC Chancellor, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the completion of the Home Health Training Lab at T.H Harris and its potential to shape the future of healthcare education: "The unveiling of this state-of-the-art Home Health Training Lab represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to providing high-quality education and training in the field of healthcare. As we continue on this journey with our partners, LHC Group and the Myers Family Foundation, we are confident that this immersive training environment will equip our students with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the growing field of home healthcare. This project is a testament to our dedication toward fostering a workforce that will continue to deliver top-notch care in the home and community."
The opening of the T.H. Harris Home Health Lab is not only a milestone for the community, but for the LHC Group and Myers Family Foundation as well. Co-founder Ginger Meyers graduated from the T.H. Harris Practical Nursing Program in 1980. In 1994, Myers and her husband, Keith Myers, co-founded LHC Group. It was established at the urging of community leaders who recognized a need for greater access to health care among rural residents. Ginger Myers was the agency’s first nurse.
“As a young nurse, the T.H. Harris Campus is where I began my journey along a career path that has been more rewarding and fulfilling than I could have imagined. It is a genuine honor to join our partners at South Louisiana Community College as they enhance education and opportunities for coming generations of nurses. This unique new facility is a tremendous asset for the future of in-home healthcare in our community and throughout the region,” said Myers.
Since the start of the “Legacy” initiative, the SLCC Foundation together with their partners have created an extensive scholarship program for healthcare students, infused home health care education and knowledge into both nursing curriculums, provided health training opportunities to SLCC's healthcare faculty, and established critical endowed professorships to support the recruitment and retention of exceptional nursing faculty.
The Home Health Training Lab at T.H. Harris Campus in Opelousas represents a groundbreaking initiative that will undoubtedly shape the future of healthcare education, providing students with the necessary tools and experience to excel in the field of home healthcare.