Hopkinsville Rotary Announces Rotary Impact Healthcare


In 2022, the Rotary Club of Hopkinsville and its leadership unveiled the Rotary Impact program — which in the last two years has focused on preparing students seeking education and agriculture pathways through Gateway Academy, Hopkinsville Community College, Murray State University, and eventually back into Christian County.

Tuesday afternoon, past Rotary President Andrew Wilson, Christian County Public Schools workforce program specialist and 74th Auction Chair Kelly Gates, Gateway Academy Principal Penny Knight, HCC Chief Academic Affairs Officer Dr. Chris Boyett and Jennie Stuart Health President & CEO Eric Lee teamed up to announce the third wing of this initiative: Rotary Impact Healthcare.

Wilson noted that Rotary Impact was created for two specific reasons:

Beginning in August 2024, Wilson said incoming freshman at CCPS will identify their interests in healthcare, before enrolling in specific courses as sophomores. From there, 24 students will be selected per class to progress through Rotary Impact as a cohort. They will attack dual credit through HCC as juniors, before transitioning into co-op dual-credit seniors at Jennie Stuart Health — where they will spend six weeks each in different wings of the facility learning different health careers.

Wilson confirmed high school graduates will walk away as Certified Nursing Assistants, and will shift into a two-year nursing curriculum at HCC while working at JSH as a PRN — a Latin term meaning “pro re nata,” or “as needed.”

While at HCC, students will receive a $500 per semester stipend for books.

Gates noted that while the global pandemic provided little positive news, it did reveal one thing: that the pipeline between CCPS and JSH was as strong as ever. And with a growing shortage in medical employees, and a rising population of “baby boomers,” the congruence needed to be met.

One of the most popular programs at Gateway Academy, Gates said as of Tuesday, more than 230 co-op applications needed to be filled — and 50 of them belonged to students in health sciences. And over the last four years, Gates said the relationship between CCPS and JSH kept growing.

Dr. Boyett applauded the vision from all, for meeting the cause at its root.

Lee, meanwhile, said this partnership had considerable meaning to him not only as JSH’s top official, but as a Christian County High School and HCC graduate.

He also made a comical reference to himself and fellow classmate, WHOP’s Jeff Sisk, and this growing opportunity at hand.

Lee added that JSH is working “diligently” to interlock capabilities between the agencies, in order to bring all teams to the table.

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