The program will use a unique model to connect candidates, local colleges, and local healthcare organizations
BURLINGTON, MA – September 25, 2023 – The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) today announced the launch of its HEALTHCAREers Academy, a program focused on training the next generation of healthcare workers in high-need areas. With 19,000 estimated job vacancies in Massachusetts acute care hospitals alone, this program is just one step that MHA and its members are taking to lower barriers to entry into the healthcare field and expand the diversity of its workforce.
The HEALTHCAREers Academy will use an innovative model, bridging every step along the workforce development journey through a single program. MHA will work with community colleges to identify candidates to work in high-need areas of healthcare, facilitate their training with additional higher education institutions, and then connect them with local healthcare organizations with open positions.
For the initial pilot program, MHA is funding scholarships to support ten students in their training to become Behavioral Health Technicians. Behavioral Health Technicians are on-the-ground professionals who play an essential role in executing patient care plans once they have been established by clinicians. In 2022, MHA found that 20% of inpatient psychiatric beds in Massachusetts are offline solely due to staffing shortages.
MHA worked with Middlesex and Roxbury Community Colleges to identify a diverse cohort of candidates, who will enroll in Regis College’s 12-week certification program this fall. Upon completion, MHA will share the cohort’s resumes and qualifications with member organizations in an effort to place them directly in local hospitals and health systems.
Participants will also have access to essential skills training through the Dropout Academy’s workshops focusing on professionalism, communications, goal setting, and more. MHA will provide the cohort with a nine-month follow-up program consisting of in-person and virtual check-ins, while delivering continued support and development opportunities.
Following the pilot class, MHA and its partners hope to evolve the program to include expanded class sizes and training for other high-need positions such as Certified Nursing Assistants.
“It’s clear that we need focused, creative, and streamlined strategies to bring people into healthcare careers. MHA is proud that the HEALTHCAREers model can do just that,” said Valerie Fleishman, MHA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer. “We are excited to launch this program alongside our members and partners in higher education. And we look forward to seeing the first class of students graduate and enter the workforce with the skills and training they need.”
“This is exactly the type of program that hospitals are looking to embrace as we work to meet the needs of today’s patients and the demographics of today’s labor market,” said Tim Quigley DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC Senior Vice President, Special Projects at South Shore Health. “We know there is a wealth of talented people out there who are drawn to the mission of healthcare, but who just need the opportunity to break through. The HEALTHCAREers can reach those individuals.”
“Regis College is proud to partner with the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association’s HEALTHCAREers Academy initiative that extends the university’s innovative and inclusive learning community; and empowers aspiring healthcare professionals,” said Regis College President Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN. “Regis has nearly a century of proven experience providing high-quality education in the healthcare field, and commitment to addressing the development of a diverse and highly skilled workforce that will play a crucial role in meeting the healthcare needs of Massachusetts.”
“Middlesex Community College is thrilled to partner with MHA on their HEALTHCAREers Academy,” said Karen Townsend, Middlesex Community College’s Dean of Health. “Our students are well-prepared with extensive knowledge and training inside and outside of the classroom and are ready to step up into these much needed roles. This is an excellent opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience while improving and diversifying the healthcare industry.”
To learn more about the HEALTHCAREers pilot program visit https://www.mhalink.org/healthcareers/.
About Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association
The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) serves as the unified voice for Massachusetts hospitals and healthcare providers. Founded in 1936, MHA represents more than 100 hospitals, healthcare partners, as well as patients across the state. Through advocacy, education, and collaboration, MHA’s mission is to improve the overall health of the commonwealth and support providers’ efforts to offer high-quality, affordable, and accessible care. For further information about MHA, please visit https://www.mhalink.org/ or contact email@example.com.
About Regis College
Regis College is a coed university 12 miles west of Boston in Weston, Mass. founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph Boston. With over 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students enrolled on campus and in fully online graduate programs, Regis provides an academically rigorous education within the schools of nursing, arts and sciences, business and communication, and health sciences. The Young School of Nursing at Regis has consistently been recognized by the National League of Nursing as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. In line with Regis’ mission of providing innovative, industry-focused learning opportunities, the university offers academic partnerships with hospitals and local employers, a clinical dental center in Waltham, Mass., and bachelor’s completion and accelerated nursing programs at its campus in Lawrence, Mass. The university’s 20 NCAA Division III athletic teams compete within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). Inspired by the social justice values of its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, Regis engages with service initiatives within the local community and around the world. Visit regiscollege.edu to learn more.
About Middlesex Community College
Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in education for more than 50 years. Middlesex puts the student first. Meeting each learner where they are, MCC provides them with a safe, welcoming and engaging place to learn. Offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses – Middlesex features flexible course formats and a variety of award-winning student support services and resources. Student success starts at MCC!