TAMC donation to benefit local educational institutions

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9 January 2013

AROOSTOOK COUNTY- Students at three educational institutions in central Aroostook will benefit from donated supplies and equipment The Aroostook Medical Center no longer uses.

TAMC microscopes

TAMC TO BENEFIT STUDENTS - TAMC Director of Diagnostic Services Cherri Fitzpatrick (center) presents UMPI and SAD 42 instructor Leigh Belair (left) and NMCC instructor Greg Thompson (right) with donated supplies and equipment no longer being used by the TAMC lab. - Contributed image

Northern Maine Community College, the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Maine School Administrative District 42 in Mars Hill each recently received materials from the lab at TAMC to be used in science courses at both campuses and at Central Aroostook High School.

“We really see this as a win-win,” said Cherri Fitzpatrick, TAMC director of diagnostic services. “It is not only a great way to support our local community and youth, but the material we are donating will be used by potential future healthcare professionals, some of whom will likely come to work at TAMC. In that respect, we are helping to support our future workforce.”

That is certainly the case at NMCC, where nursing and EMS students enrolled in a number of life science classes, as well as other students taking courses with a science lab component, will benefit from two additional microscopes. The two units, which TAMC recently replaced, will be a great addition to the classroom of life sciences instructor Greg Thompson.

“This donation will now allow each student to have their own individual microscope to work with. Up until now, some students have been required to share as we had been adding a microscope or two each year as funds allowed with the hope of eventually having enough for each student to have their own,” said Thompson. “From my perspective, hands-on learning is the best method for students to really grasp what we are teaching.  The donated microscopes will be of great help in providing hand-on learning opportunities for all students simultaneously.”

Authorities value the two used microscopes at approximately $500 altogether. Thompson estimates that between 60 and 70 students each semester at NMCC use microscopes in his multiple laboratory sections.

At UMPI, Leigh Belair, instructor and practicum coordinator for the medical laboratory technician program, also sees the items she received from the TAMC lab providing great benefit to her students.  Belair, who additionally teaches chemistry and anatomy at Central Aroostook High School, will use the items she received to altogether serve between 40 and 50 students each semester at the two education institutions.

Specifically, TAMC gave Belair several packages of disposable lab coats and ten boxes of pipettes used to transfer fluid. The shorter lab coats no longer met length requirements for the TAMC lab and TAMC no longer used the donated pipettes. Altogether authorities valued the donated items at nearly $800.

“This is of great benefit to both UMPI and SAD 42,” said Belair.  “These items will carry us through a number of years. Given the current budget challenges, donations like this are appreciated now more than ever. Most importantly, the donation will allow students to work with supplies they someday may use in their future professions in the medical field.”  

For both Thompson and Belair the donated items from the TAMC lab hold special significance. In the past, both instructors worked in the lab.