Great Plains Health to be honored with MPCC President’s Award

gph logo
Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Great Plains Health has been selected to receive the 2023 President’s Award from Mid-Plains Community College. The health system will be recognized at the college’s commencement ceremony in North Platte next month.

“GPH has been a great partner of MPCC in providing opportunities for all our health occupation programs,” said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. “It is the only regional medical center in our 18-county service area, and we could not prepare our students to be successful without its unwavering support.”

About Great Plains Health

Located in North Platte, GPH is a nonprofit, fully accredited, 116-bed regional referral center serving western Nebraska, northern Kansas and northern Colorado.

Its primary and secondary service areas span approximately 67,832 square miles - about the size of the state of Pennsylvania.

With nearly 100 physicians representing 30 medical specialties, the GPH system offers advanced medical services, including heart and vascular, cancer, orthopedic services, women’s services and a level III trauma center.

The system employs approximately 1,100 employees and has more than 200 volunteers. GPH has approximately 183,000 patient encounters per month and houses western Nebraska’s only heart institute, wound healing center and Level 2 neonatal intensive care unit.

A partner in education

GPH has been a strong financial supporter of the health education provided by MPCC. Most recently, GPH contributed $500,000 to the college’s Health and Science Center expansion project. That’s in addition to the $1.5 million GPH pledged to the initial construction of the building.

GPH also provides a rich learning environment for the nursing students at MPCC. Presently, GPH is hosting senior nursing students in the Capstone Preceptorship Program, which is in its second year of successfully pairing practicing registered nurses with student nurses in their last quarter of the nursing program to help foster the transition from student to professional nurse.

“Great Plains Health provides the nursing students with the opportunity for experience in a wide variety of nursing areas and specialties, helping to shape their interests in the nursing profession,” said MPCC Nurse Educator and Clinical Coordinator Lana Albrecht-Watson. “There are many community events that the Mid-Plains nursing department and Great Plains Health collaborate on – such as student participation in the flu vaccine clinics and the annual stroke clinic.”

GPH also invites MPCC students and faculty to attend select educational presentations, both online and in person.

“GPH employs our nursing students as nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses while they are in the program,” said MPCC Director of Nursing Dr. Kathy Harrison. “The managers work with the students to help them achieve a good work, life and school balance.”

GPH offers the students symbols of appreciation and support throughout the year. Those include holiday packages, finals week snacks and a luncheon at the end of the college’s nursing program, during which GPH managers meet with students about employment opportunities after graduation.

GPH will be recognized with the President’s Award at 3 p.m. May 12 during the North Platte Community College Commencement ceremony in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on NPCC’s South Campus. The event is free and open to the public.