Forrest County Board of Supervisors Allocates $2.6 Million to Aid Pearl River’s Allied Health and Nursing Program Expansion

August 29, 2023

Pearl River Community College will receive much-needed support for the continued growth of its Allied Health and Nursing programs on the Forrest County Campus. The Forrest County Board of Supervisors has allocated $2.6 million over 15 years to assist with the $11 million needed for renovations and expansions.  

Men and women stand in group holding an oversized check representing allocation of funds from Forrest County Board of Supervisors to Pearl River Community College

“This is a tremendous moment for our institution as well as our community,” said Pearl River Community College President Dr. Adam Breerwood. “Thanks to the consistent support and dedication from our Forrest County Board of Supervisors, Pearl River will continue to grow our enrollment and commitment to excellence in providing top-notch healthcare workers for our local community for years to come.” 

To help with healthcare shortages, PRCC has expanded Practical Nursing, Surgical Technology, Physical Therapy Assistant, and Radiology Technology. In 2022, the campus saw the addition of Associate Degree Nursing and Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs. This year, the college has added Advanced Emergency Medical Training and Paramedic and aims to expand the Associate Degree Nursing program to 200 students.    

Dozens of nursing students sit and stand behind tables with Pearl River Community College on the tablecloth.
Current Associate Degree of Nursing students and instructors.

“The Forrest County Supervisors are very aware of the needs of our community and have made funding decisions that will not only help us train to meet the needs of healthcare, but also provide a great return on investment for the taxpayers of Forrest County,” said Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for Forrest County Campus, Allied Health, and Nursing Programs.  

As a result of these expansions and additions, Pearl River Community College will add a new Allied Health and Nursing building, renovate spaces to accommodate the new EMT/Paramedic program, and prepare space for the movement of other programs to facilitate usage of the newly built simulation lab.   

Current Allied Health Center at PRCC Forrest County Campus
Current Allied Health Center at PRCC Forrest County Campus

“The Forrest County Board of Supervisors is so proud to be a part of the advancements in health care technologies and education at the Forrest County Campus,” said David Hogan, President of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors. “With this additional funding provided by the taxpayers of Forrest County through the Board of Supervisors, we will see approximately $11M of expansion, remodeling, and state-of-the-art teaching equipment for up to 200 nursing students at the PRCC Forrest County Campus. This will serve as a wonderful tool to help all healthcare institutions get their nursing shortages taken care of along with all the other healthcare services they provide.”  

Attendees of the announcement expressed gratitude to Pearl River for providing excellent education while operating within financial constraints.  

“This is a jewel in the middle of our economic development,” said Roderick ‘Rod’ Woullard, Forrest County Supervisor District 4. “Hattiesburg can only grow if we keep our people here at home. We want to do all we can to keep our residents right here, making a living wage. The training programs at PRCC are tremendous. So, we want to work as a county to expand those.”  

PRCC has a history of responding to the needs of local employers, including the needs for healthcare providers at Forrest Health, particularly at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.   

“We are doing pretty well right now with recruitment and retention,” said Troy Daniels, Vice President of Operations Support at Forrest General Hospital. “We certainly have needs with a number of job openings in nursing and ancillary areas. Nursing is where our partnership with PRCC is the strongest, but we have very good relationships with the other departments.”  

Students graduating from the Allied Health and Nursing programs typically have job offers in hand before their final grades are issued. Students completing one program, such as Practical Nursing, may come back for additional training and growth in their careers.  

“With the seeds we have planted here, we have the opportunity to flourish those programs for nursing that allow for some flexibility, Phyllis Chambers, Vice President of Clinical Operations and System Chief Nursing Officer for Forrest Health. “Such as having an LPN to RN program right here in Hattiesburg for our residents to supply the Forrest Health family. We see it as more than a partnership but a family atmosphere for Forrest Health and PRCC.”  

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), Facebook (@PRCCMKTG), and TikTok (@prcc_wildcats).

Article by Laura O’Neill. Photography by Kaitlyn Jones.

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.