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LCC Program Donates Six AEDs to Parsons Police Department


The Parsons Police Department is set to enhance its life-saving capabilities with the acquisition of six Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) units, thanks to a collaborative effort with Labette Community College (LCC) Nursing and Respiratory Programs. The AEDs, valued at $1725.00 each, will be officially handed over on Monday, March 18, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. in the Zetmeir Health Science Building.

The initiative is made possible through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program, administered by the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) Schools of Nursing and Respiratory Therapy. The grant supports the development of an Interprofessional Long-COVID Academic Network, with a primary focus on increasing rural workforce capacity for pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) through sustainable wellness programs.

Notable individuals involved in the collaboration include Nurse Faculty members Carly Beachner, Kim Beachner, Haley Beeman, Kathi Bennett, Julie Page, Aaron Smith, and Cheryl Smith, along with Nursing Program Director Dr. Delyna (Dee) Bohnenblust, Respiratory Faculty Jennifer Harding, and Respiratory Clinical Coordinator Tiffany Kotzman, and Respiratory Program Director Susan Stolte.

Dr. Dee Bohnenblust, Nursing Program Director at LCC, expressed her excitement about the collaboration, stating, "The Nursing Program at LCC is thrilled to partner with the Parsons Police to deploy AEDs into police officer automobiles as well as their facility, serving the community and promoting cardio and pulmonary health. With the Interprofessional COVID-19 Academic Network (I-CAN) grant focusing on improving access to Pulmonary Rehab in Rural Communities, the nursing faculty aims to enhance community wellness, particularly in Labette County."

Susan Stolte, Respiratory Program Director, highlighted the importance of providing police officers with life-saving equipment, saying, "We believe it is important for our police officers, who are often first responders, to have the equipment available to save a life. AEDs increase the survival of someone experiencing cardiac arrest, and I am proud we have an opportunity to give back to the Parsons community."

According to Ross Harper, Dean of Workforce Career Education and Training (CTE) said, "The work that the Nursing Director and Respiratory Care Director put in to receive the grant and be able to purchase these AEDs shows how great our LCC directors are for our programs. The money that was received could have gone to help their own program, but instead they chose to use this money to help the community by providing these AEDs to the police department. LCC has a great relationship with our local community, and I hope that we can continue to give back to our community by providing equipment and training for our local police and first responders"

In addition to the collaborative efforts of the Labette Community College (LCC) Nursing and Respiratory Programs, Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks has expressed enthusiastic support for the acquisition of the six Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) units by the Parsons Police Department. Chief Spinks stated, "The safety and well-being of our community members are our top priorities. This partnership with LCC is a significant step towards enhancing our emergency response capabilities. The addition of AEDs to our police vehicles and buildings not only ensures the safety of our officers but also reinforces our commitment to the prompt and effective assistance of those in need. We are grateful for the support from LCC and look forward to furthering our collaborative efforts for the betterment of Parsons and its residents."

The Parsons Police Department is committed to the safety and well-being of its community members. The addition of AEDs to police vehicles represents a significant step towards ensuring timely and effective response in critical situations, aligning with the overarching goal of the I-CAN grant to improve access to healthcare resources in rural communities.

Dr. Ben Legler of Labette Health serves with Dr. Bohnenblust as volunteer Medical Directors for the Parsons Police Department. They will oversee the AED Program as well as First Aid/CPR and the future Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Training at the police department.

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