PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal and officials announced $350,000 in federal funding for Berkshire Community College on Wednesday.

The funding will provide upgrades to the nursing program’s simulation (SIM) equipment including newborn, pediatric and adult models, patient monitors, wound care kits and accompanying software, an Electronic Medical Record program, an Omnicell Medication Dispenser and crash carts.

“This grant will be used to upgrade equipment and give our students a hands-on approach to giving safe care in a non-threatening environment,” BCC Dean of Nursing Lori Moon told 22News.

Congressman Richard Neal was joined by Berkshire Community College Dean of Nursing Lori Moon, interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Laurie Gordy, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Adam Klepetar, Director of Grants Development & Management Gina Stec, nursing students, faculty, and staff.

“I was proud to fight for this funding for BCC that will allow for the first substantive upgrade to this important nursing training equipment since 2009,” said Congressman Neal. “This equipment will enhance the technical skill level of students and prepare them to adequately meet the workforce needs of the Berkshire County healthcare community.”

“There are so many studies that support the implementation of simulation experiences into nursing education,” said Moon. Simulation enables students to practice clinical decision-making skills in a protected environment while enhancing students’ confidence, promoting patient safety and making the connection between theory and nursing practice, she explained.  

“We are so excited to add to the state-of-the-art, high-fidelity simulation equipment we already have in place in our SIM lab,” Moon said.  

Neal had submitted funding for this project in the Fiscal Year 2022 spending bill that was signed into law earlier this year.