Hospital Foundation Funds New Program to Train Future Health Care Workers
Watervliet, MI - The Community Hospital Foundation has established a $10,000 grant for a new program aimed at training area high school students for a career in health care. The new program, which began September 2, 2008, provides extensive training for qualifying students to earn a certified nursing assistant degree upon program completion. Community Hospital Foundation President, Robert Becker, is enthusiastic about the program's potential. "The need for qualified health care workers is growing rapidly across the nation and our area is no exception," said Becker. "Our aging population has increasing health care needs and requires a greater number of well-trained staff to provide that care. It made perfect sense for us to start our own program,'' he says. "It's a win-win situation by preparing our local graduating seniors for a job in their own community." Local high schools involved in the project include Coloma High School, Watervliet High School, and the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency (Berrien RESA). Each school will have a program coordinator who will work in concert with the instructor. "We are extremely excited about the program possibilities for our students," says Terry Boguth, Principal of Coloma High School. "The program gives students interested in a health care career the opportunity to take the first steps toward learning more about the field." "Many of these students will probably continue their education for nursing degrees or other health-related fields." agrees Bob Gabel, Superintendent of Watervliet Public Schools. The foundation's $10,000 grant will be made to Community Hospital to use toward the cost of the project. The hospital is providing the instructor and donating patient beds to the program. Roslyn Hickmott, BSN, a registered nurse, will serve as the program instructor. Students accepted in to the program will begin with classroom instruction at Coloma High School, followed by clinical rotations at Community Hospital. "The program will truly be comprehensive job training experience," says Hickmott. "In addition to completing health instruction classes and patient care activities, all students will be required to strictly follow the hospital's policies, including the dress code, patient confidentiality and other standards of behavior." According to Hickmott, students who successfully complete the program will be able to obtain a Certified Nursing Assistant certificate.