Trustees Tour Health Lab, Raise Salaries

Trustees Tour Health Lab, Raise Salaries

Erik Johnson to become new Staerkel Planetarium director

The Parkland College Board of Trustees toured the school's simulation lab Wednesday and approved annual salary increases for its administrators and confidential and supervisory staff.

The board also hired a new director for the William M. Staerkel Planetarium to replace longtime director David Leake, who will retire in June.

Trustees held their May meeting at Parkland College's Health Professions wing, in the Parkland on Mattis building, in order to tour the Huff-McGrain Simulation Laboratory. Named in 2013 for retired Nursing faculty JoAnn McGrain and the late Dr. Joanne Huff, the college's high-fidelity simulation lab is home to two computer-controlled, full-sized mannequins named iStan and MetiMan, manufactured by CAE, as well as an obstetrics simulator, Noelle and her baby, made by Gaumard. The American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) support and recognize the use of simulation as designated clinical hours. 

The Huff-McGrain simulation lab is slated for an upgrade this summer to accommodate the increasing demand for simulation; simulation use at Parkland College has increased greatly in recent years. Expansion plans include the addition of two simulation bays, a dedicated debriefing room, a mobile nurses station and upgraded operator stations. The lab provides clinical simulation instruction to students enrolled in the associate-degree nursing, LPN, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, and Emergency Medical Services programs. The mannequins mimic the vital signs and physiological response of living humans, allowing students an additional level of practice in recognizing and responding to medical and emergency situations. Students develop their teamwork and clinical skills through the simulated clinical experiences and debriefings the lab provides.

Parkland's trustees approved 3 percent (or up to 3.5 percent, pending state budget) annual salary increases for the college's administrators and confidential and supervisory staff, matching similar increases for professional support staff.

Among its personnel appointments for May, the board approved the hiring of Erik Johnson as director of the school's planetarium to replace David Leake. Winner of the 2017 North Central Region of the Astronomical League Award and a founder of the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society (CUAS), Leake has served on the college's astronomy and physics faculty since 1989. Johnson, an associate professor of astronomy at Parkland since 2011, will begin as director Aug. 12.

Trustees also approved the following:

  • exempt purchase of services from Carle Regional Emergency Medical Systems of Urbana, $25,600.

  • exempt purchase of the Scholarship Manager online scholarship program license through 2022 from Next Gen of Jacksonville, Fla., $22,000.

  • PHS purchase of construction services from Open Road Paving of Urbana for campus walkway/B1 and B7 parking lot repairs, $1,432,166.

  • selection of Commerce Bank of Champaign as the college's procurement card (PCard) vendor.

  • additional personnel appointments:

    • Joshua Weber, Physics tenure-track faculty, Natural Sciences

    • Kory Allred, Construction adjunct faculty, Agriculture/Engineering Science Technologies

    • Kaitlyn Uden, Talent specialist, Human Resources

    • Oliver Swann, Library Technical Services Specialist - Acquisitions, Library

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