JBS Gives $500,000 to Educate Future Health Care Workers

The Grand Island Senior High Academy of Medical Sciences at CHI Health St. Francis is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a $500,000 sponsorship from JBS Grand Island.

The "JBS Learning Lab and Lobby," part of the future school within the hospital, will be announced at a check presentation scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at St. Francis.

The JBS Hometown Strong initiative, designed to strengthen the communities where JBS employees live and work, is making meaningful investments in community projects like the Academy of Medical Sciences that will have a lasting impact for generations to come. One of the world’s leading global food companies is providing $3.5 million in total to the Grand Island area.

"We recognize both the opportunity and responsibility of being a large business and employer in our community," said Zack Ireland, plant manager, JBS Grand Island. "We are excited to partner with other pillars in the community like the hospital and school system who share our same mission to build better futures for all."

"We deeply appreciate JBS for recognizing how vital inspiring and growing our own health care workers is for Central Nebraska," says Ed Hannon, president, St. Francis. "The pandemic shined a light on the importance of our continuing efforts to provide quality medical care to our community for another 133 years."

Grand Island Public Schools (GIPS), in partnership with CHI Health St. Francis, is finalizing plans to transform the 8th floor of the hospital tower into a 20,522 square-foot learning lab of the future. The $5.92 million project, funded solely through business and private donations, will provide juniors and seniors training and exposure to a variety of health care careers.

In addition to the JBS sponsored space, a large learning lab and lobby used for gathering, the academy will also feature two large simulation pathway labs, four additional labs, two classrooms and several smaller break-out rooms. Students will alternate days of hands-on learning at the hospital with traditional in-classroom days at Grand Island Senior High. While at the hospital, students will simulate bedside care using electronic patient mannequins, work through emergency care protocols in an ambulance, learn how physical therapists assess sports injuries and repair high-tech medical equipment.

"Students receiving real-world training at an advanced medical center side-by-side with expert clinicians on a dedicated floor configured to compliment our current pathway, is more than we could ever imagine. The generous gift from JBS will make a huge impact on the lives and futures of our students. Thanks for believing in our program," says Dr. Tawana Grover, superintendent, GIPS.

The academy build-out will take an estimated 12 months to complete once the remaining funds are raised. For more information about the academy or to pledge a gift, contact the St. Francis Foundation at (308) 398-5400.

More about JBS USA
JBS USA is a leading global food company providing diversified, high-quality food products to customers in approximately 100 countries on six continents. This includes meat and poultry products, a portfolio of recognized brands and innovative premium foods.

More about the Grand Island Senior High Academy of Medical Sciences at CHI Health St. Francis
Twenty faculty members, collaborating with St. Francis providers and employees, will teach in the new space. Job shadowing and mentoring opportunities at the hospital will also be offered as part of the curriculum. The free program is open to students interested in the medical field. St. Francis intends to lease the space, a $7.2 million value, for 20 years for a token fee.