August 30, 2011
Cisco Donates $75,000 to Gwinnett Tech Legacy of Lives Campaign
Funding Helps Launch New Health Information Technology Program
Cisco has donated $75,000 to the Gwinnett Tech Legacy of Lives Campaign to help launch the college's new Health Information Technology (HIT) program and support Gwinnett Tech's new Life Sciences Center.
The funds will be used to underwrite a HIT faculty member and to aid in the development of HIT curriculum components identified by industry. With the start of fall semester last week, Gwinnett Tech welcomed its first class of health informaticians enrolled in the college's new associate degree program in Health Information Technology.
"Cisco has been a longtime supporter of Gwinnett Tech, and a consistent and generous benefactor of education in our community. The partnership between education and technology is a vital cornerstone of economic development and Gwinnett Tech, our students and our community are much richer for Cisco's progressive investments in education," says President Sharon Bartels, Gwinnett Tech. "This donation will have a direct and positive impact on our students seeking careers in this growing field."
One of the Life Sciences Center general science classrooms, equipped with a host of interactive learning technologies, will be named for Cisco. The 78,000-square foot, three-story Center just opened for fall semester classes and will be formally dedicated in September. The new facility serves 3,000 students per year and enables Gwinnett Tech to admit more students to healthcare and life science programs and to expand programs offered, including HIT.
"Gwinnett Tech is Georgia's flagship technical college, and Cisco is proud of our long and productive partnership. Supporting the Health Information Technology program and the new Life Sciences Center is a natural for us, and is a great example of how the community benefits when business and education work together. These HIT graduates will have the technology skills to enter an increasingly automated healthcare environment, area employers will have the HIT professionals they need and our community will benefit as the home to an expanding, highly skilled workforce," explains Renee Byrd-Lewis, director of community relations for Cisco.
The Atlanta area is often referred to as the world capital of Health Information Technology. The Georgia-based HIT sector employs some 15,000 people in the state and the sector's primary businesses are growing at a 40 percent rate, reports the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
This fall, in addition to HIT, Gwinnett Tech introduced new programs in cardiovascular technology, diagnostic medical sonography, and a patient care assistant program. The college also offers degree, diploma or certificate options in registered nursing, bioscience, radiologic technology, respiratory care, surgical technology, dental assisting, medical assisting, dental lab technology, health studies, veterinary technology and EMT/paramedic technology, many of which will also now be expanded. Planned for the future are bridge programs for practical nursing to registered nursing and for paramedic to registered nursing.
Gwinnett Tech serves the state's highest number of health science students. Currently, more than 40 percent of GTC students are enrolled in a health sciences program.
Cisco is a long-term Gwinnett Tech business partner and plays an active role in the college's growth and development. The 350-seat Cisco Auditorium in the George Busbee International Center for Workforce Development on the Gwinnett Tech campus represents Cisco's support of the Busbee Center.
In all, GTC offers more than 45 degree, diploma and certificate options that can be completed in two years or less. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu or call 770-962-7580.
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