Houlahan works to secure $2M for new Alvernia University Allied Health Programs, address nursing shortage

Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) toured Alvernia University’s John R. Post Center at Reading CollegeTowne Monday to receive an update on their expansion into downtown Reading and future plans.

The second phase of their expansion will add a new Physician’s Assistant (PA) program and modernize the university’s nationally-ranked nursing and occupational therapy programs, adding 45 new Physician Assistant students annually and over 250 new nurses and occupational therapists to the Berks community over the next five years.

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“We have seen just how important our health and our community’s health are these past few years,” said Houlahan. “To continue providing high quality care to patients in Berks County and surrounding communities, Alvernia University is actively looking to the future and expanding their educational programs right in Reading. Partnerships with Reading Area Community College will make this resource affordable and accessible to all Pennsylvanians pursuing a career in allied health.”

To help Alvernia University improve their educational programs and the community address the nursing shortage among other goals, Houlahan has put forward a $2 million Community Project Funding request through the Appropriations Committee in Congress to fund Phase Two.

“The second phase of the Reading CollegeTowne project will provide a much-needed influx of skilled healthcare professionals in an expanding healthcare landscape in Berks County,” said Alvernia University President John R. Loyack. “Community partnership has been essential to the early success of the CollegeTowne strategy. Federal funding will support the creation of a community clinic that will serve those throughout Reading who are uninsured or underinsured and an interdisciplinary health simulation lab that will allow for the preparation of healthcare professionals from different disciplines in a united and real-world healthcare environment.”

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Houlahan added, “I was proud to include Alvernia University in our office’s FY23 Community Project Funding request. This proposal meets all the core values of our office: service to others, STEM workforce development, affordable higher education, and more. While the appropriations process is not yet complete, I look forward to championing this request and hopefully delivering these federal funds to our community.”

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