When Jamaica native Altrecia Henry was looking for a career to support her growing family after moving to the U.S., the Partners in Career and Workforce Development (PCWD) Program was just the jump-start she needed. In 2014, Henry completed the eight-week PCWD program that included an internship assignment with the Education Department in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Starting with a permanent Patient Service Coordinator role at MGH, Henry went through additional MGH-supported professional development courses and was promoted to Medical Education Programs Coordinator. Bursting with confidence, she is now pursuing a degree in Healthcare Administration with the help of MGH scholarships. Today, she draws on her own experience to offer encouragement and inspiration to other program participants.
PCWD brings significant benefits to the local economy and patient care alike. Not only does the program fuel the community labor market and support individuals and families, it also helps Partners institutions meet their own labor demands with skilled health workers.
"We’re currently focused on the PCA/CNA training program, which helps to fill a very high-demand role within Partners and in our local labor market. We will continue to align our work with our Human Resources colleagues and hiring managers to ensure that we are preparing program participants for the right roles at the right time,” says Elena Kuyun, PCWD Community Programs Manager. “It’s a way of further rooting our institutions within our communities by helping individuals like Altrecia enter meaningful careers while ensuring we can meet the needs of our patients.”
The program is currently working to address the system-wide shortage of Patient Care Associates (PCAs) through a five-week Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program offered in collaboration with the Academy for Healthcare Training in Malden and community-based organizational partner, Project Hope. PCWD also assists with candidate outreach, recruitment, and case management services as needed. Training is currently offered three times per year for up to 60 students annually. At the end of the Partners-supported program, participants earn dual Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide certificates, qualifying them to enter into PCA roles within the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and to take the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Certification Exam at Partners’ expense.