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Collaboration with Jewish Vocational Service provides a path to a career in healthcare

With staffing challenges impacting hospitals across the United States, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital has committed to recruiting, training and coaching individuals who want to work in the hospital. To achieve this goal, the hospital has collaborated with Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) to create a new program for those who wish to become patient care assistants (PCAs).

Dubbed the “Cheer Program,” the goal is to foster an environment where new PCAs find the support they need to build a successful career in healthcare and provide our patients with: Comfort, High Quality, Excellence, Empathy and Respect.

“In December of 2021, we welcomed our first cohort of nine PCAs,” says Professional Development Manager for Nursing Orientation and Transition to Practice Jennifer Capone, MSN, RN. “Prior to starting, they completed six weeks of training to meet the requirements for the Certified Nursing Assistant exam. Upon starting at BWFH, Nursing Professional Development Managers provide further education and training as part of the Cheer Program.”

For participants, the Cheer Program has been a great opportunity.

Teresha Ramkissoon graduated from high school in the spring of 2021. For financial reasons, a traditional college program was not a possibility. “I heard about the program during the summer of 2021. I was working as a camp counselor and one of my coworkers showed me the JVS website and how I could become a CNA within six weeks. I knew that I wanted to work in healthcare as my career and JVS was the fastest way for me to do that,” she says. “Now I’ve started my career in healthcare and got my foot in the door to start the foundation for my future. I am currently working as a PCA in the float pool at BWFH and I am planning on going back to school to further my career and eventually become a nurse.”

Frederick Chukwuka Ifebuzo already has some familiarity with the healthcare industry having worked as a mental health counselor and studying Psychology in college. But he was ready to take the next step in his career when he heard about the JVS collaboration with BWFH. “I was looking for something that would give me career satisfaction and financial security in the long run. Right now, I'm working as a PCA at BWFH while I continue to be a mental health counselor and work toward completing my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I plan to go to nursing school immediately after my bachelor’s degree,” he says. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity and I’m glad I chose to participate because it has also brought me to BWFH, where I have access to enormous resources that will be very beneficial to my career path.”

About Jewish Vocational Service

Jewish Vocational Service in Boston was founded in 1938 during the Great Depression to assist Jewish immigrants struggling to enter the American workforce and support their families. Today, JVS is among the oldest and largest providers of adult education and workforce development services in Greater Boston, serving a diverse clientele representing over 90 nations, and speaking 50 languages, and helping people secure financial independence through educational and employment services. With over 80 years of demonstrated excellence in workforce development, JVS has a reputation for continuous innovation, building person-centered and performance-based models to improve outcomes and increase programmatic effectiveness.

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