Fort Bragg, CA—June 4th, 2021— Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation completes the Mendocino College Foundation’s $72,000 fundraising campaign for a Physiology Lab classroom on the Coast, with a $30,000 grant. In Spring 2022, students will be able to take the Physiology course, a mandatory nursing pre-requisite, at the Mendocino College Coast Center campus for the first time.

The nation faces a healthcare crisis, with a projected shortage of nurses, especially in rural areas, that must be addressed in order to properly serve the healthcare needs of communities. The aging population along the Coast, coupled with a high cost of living, amplifies the need in this region.  An identified method to secure local nurses, is to educate local students interested in the profession. These potential students often have local housing available and have a strong tie to the community, which helps with retention.

A primary barrier for coastal students who are seeking nursing degrees is the three-hour round trip travel time to attend classes at the Ukiah campus.  Nursing prerequisite courses, like Physiology, are the most academically rigorous and time-intensive courses at Mendocino College.  In order to travel to Ukiah, potential students require a dependable form of transportation, gas money for the entire semesters, and the time to do so. Providing the facilities and staff to allow students to complete the Physiology course on the Coast greatly reduces the total time and days students must travel on the road to attain their nursing degree.

The ability to offer Physiology at the Coast Center, will make the reality of becoming a nurse much more likely for our local residents interested in pursuing that profession. Mendocino College Dean of Centers, Amanda Xu, is elated to see this course and a pre-nursing pathway available on the coast. “These courses provide local students the education they need to obtain a lucrative and in demand profession. It is a win-win for our community and Mendocino College students in so many ways.” 


The $30,000 grant from the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation is supported by the MCHFoundation Excellence in Nursing Initiative designed to support the recruitment and retention of qualified nurses for the healthcare providers in our coastal community. The Excellence in Nursing Initiative includes a scholarship campaign that will provide for continued education of working coastal nurses, college students who are working toward their nursing degree, and high school students considering a career in healthcare. The Excellence in Nursing Initiative will highlight our healthcare heroes and address the immediate needs for the nursing community, including the housing and childcare shortage.

As stated by the Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation, Mary Kate McKenna, “MCHFoundation is determined to provide resources that will support our nurses, our future nurses, and those who may be inspired to pursue a career in healthcare. These actions will create economic, social, and community benefits while ensuring that the healthcare system we all rely upon will be prepared to meet the need.”

For over 35 years, MCHFoundation has directly improved the lives of coastal residents and visitors by funding essential healthcare needs. Their fundraising efforts through events like Winesong and the generosity of their long-term supporters have provided critical funding for healthcare that benefits the entire community. The Excellence in Nursing Initiative seeks to raise $500K during 2021 in support of various campaigns, such as this, that will provide for the immediate and long-term needs surrounding nursing on the coast. 

Anna Kvinsland, Director of Development for the Mendocino College Foundation, said “The Friends of Mendocino College Coast Center kicked off the Physiology Lab classroom campaign by committing $1,000 of their funds, and through a combination of donations received from individuals, Strong Workforce funds, COVID Relief funds, and a new partnership with the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation, the one-time cost of $72,000 was raised in less than 2 months. This is a tremendous benefit for our students and the coastal community as a whole.”

The Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation supports organizations that care for the health and wellness of the Mendocino coastal communities. To learn more about MCHFoundation and its mission, visit their website at www.MCHFoudation.org. To support the Excellence in Nursing Initiative with a donation, reach out directly to MCHFoundation at (707) 961-4671 or use their online donation form on their website.

The Mendocino College Foundation supports Mendocino College in educating leaders, fostering intellectual growth, and enriching lives by creating opportunities to invest in a better future for our students and communities.  To learn more about Mendocino College and its mission, visit their website at https://foundation.mendocino.edu/, or reach out directly at (707) 467-1018.

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