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‘Exceptional enthusiasm’: Feasibility study backs Demopolis as best for healthcare school



Citing the city's “extraordinary enthusiasm” and “unwavering motivation,” a feasibility study supports Demopolis becoming the home of the Alabama School of Health Sciences.

A study by Tripp Umbach, a firm that has completed more than 100 feasibility studies worldwide for both medical and health science programs, was approved by Congress and named Demopolis as the school's clear choice.

“Demopolis…has extraordinary enthusiasm, unwavering motivation, secured funding, strategically chosen site location, comprehensive hospital partnership potential, and alignment with the vision outlined in the funding bill. ”, the study said.

Related article: Alabama's Future Healthcare High School receives $26.4 million grant from Bloomberg

ASHS Foundation Chairman Rob Pearson was thrilled with the company's findings and made sure to thank everyone involved in choosing Demopolis as the school's location.

“Obviously, we agree with the findings of this study, and we had a front row seat to see the entire Demopolis community come out in support of this school,” Pearson said. “The support we have received, not only from Governor Ivey and members of the Alabama Legislature, but also from national organizations like Bloomberg Philanthropies, makes Demopolis the best location to host a statewide residential city. There's no question about it: high school.

“We are committed to continuing to work through this school as a foundation for supporting the needs of Alabama's health care workers.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who initiated the idea for the school last year, mentioned the feasibility study when she asked lawmakers to approve the school in her State of the State address last week.

Related article: Ivey seeks approval of Alabama Medical Sciences High School in Demopolis

“…the feasibility report commissioned by Congress last year confirmed once again that Demopolis is the ideal location for this important school. Let's all get this important project done,” Ivey said. said.

Some of the key findings of the feasibility study are:

  • The consulting team conducted in-depth field visits to seven communities in Alabama over a three-month period in late 2023 and early 2024.
  • The consulting team believes the creation of a state-supported health sciences-focused high school based in Alabama is feasible.
  • Survey results from health professionals indicate high interest in establishing health science high schools, strong interest in education, and high tolerance for education in suburban and rural small towns.
  • The proposed boarding health sciences high school would enable graduates to continue their education and fill thousands of medical job vacancies.

Based on the results of a statistically significant statewide survey of over 600 parents, respondents are interested in sending their high school-aged children to rural/suburban areas in Alabama.

Here's why Demopolis was ranked as the best city for schools in a feasibility study.

  • Local high school support
  • Securing community support/grants
  • higher education partnership
  • Quality of local public school systems
  • Proximity to medical institutions
  • School sector diversity
  • Proximity of the site to the general hospital (e.g. within walking distance)
  • State support from universities (especially UAB)
  • technology infrastructure

Austin Shipley is a staff writer at Yellowhammer News.

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