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Partners HealthCare working to provide promising career paths for employees

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Partners HealthCare working to provide promising career paths for employees
Pictured here is Darnell Kuykendall, PCWD graduate, giving a tour of the Massachusetts General Hospital MRI Suite.

Pictured here is Carmen Pena, Partners in Career and Workforce Development Program graduate, currently working at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.

Education, economic opportunity, and professional development are essential not only for the life and vitality of an individual, but also for the life and vitality of a whole community.

Partners HealthCare understands the impact these things can have on Boston’s vitality, which is why it has committed to providing robust workforce development programs for young people, community residents and current employees.

Research shows that more education can lead to a healthier, longer life. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, college graduates can expect to live at least five years longer than individuals who have not finished high school. More educational and economic opportunities lead to higher incomes, and higher incomes lead to healthier lives.

Partners workforce development programs provide employees with opportunities to enhance their skills and to further their educations with job training, internships, college preparation and mentoring.

For example, the Partners in Career and Workforce Development Program, a collaboration between Partners Human Resources and Partners Community Health, is helping people to achieve their goals of building careers in health care. The rigorous job training and internship program equips participants with the skills necessary for professional success. Currently celebrating its fifteenth year, PCWD has enrolled more than 400 people and helped to set them on paths to fulfilling careers.

“Our employees are our greatest asset and we are committed to developing an exceptional workforce that ensures we provide patient-centered, high-quality care.” said Matt Fishman, Partners vice president for community health. “We are investing in our employees in a number of ways and supporting their career and academic goals.”

Carmen Pena is one example of an employee who has taken part in several workforce development programs. She is currently working as an administrative assistant and surgical coordinator in the Breast Center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. Pena was unemployed when she first saw a flyer for the PCWD program. She enrolled soon after and has greatly benefitted from all it has to offer.

Pena participated in the PCWD training and employment program, which led her to the hospital and the opportunity to take advantage of additional programming. She enrolled in citizenship classes, the pre-college program, and the online college preparation program. The citizenship classes are available to all eligible Partners employees and their families and help people with all of the steps to attaining citizenship — from interviews to the citizenship exam.

The pre-college program prepares employees to take college courses offering guidance in a variety of subjects including math, science, English and writing. The online college preparation program provides a learning experience consistent with most college online learning systems, making the transition to full-time college courses much smoother.

Along with a thriving career, Pena now has attained U.S. citizenship and will be enrolling in classes at Bunker Hill Community College — setting her on a path to an even brighter future for both herself and her three sons.

“PCWD was a life-changing event for me and my family,” says Pena. “I am setting an example for my children and proving that hard work can pay off. I want them to see what can happen when you set goals and seize opportunities — you can achieve anything.”

Darnell Kuykendall has also had a transformative experience at Partners with help from the PCWD program. Kuykendall applied to PCWD in 2011, after having held a series of routine but uninspiring jobs.

“I was unemployed, having been laid off from numerous jobs. I saw what the program offered and decided to take a chance and apply. I was unhappy moving from job to job and wanted a career,” said Kuykendall.

After completing his eight-week training and internship, he found a job at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has worked his way up to his current position there, an operating room equipment technician in the hospital’s Operating Room MRI Suite. Not only is the MGH MRI Suite one of the most advanced imaging facilities in the country — it also provides Kuykendall with an opportunity for professional growth.

“My experience with PCWD has been a great one and it has given so much more meaning to my professional life,” said Kuykendall. “PCWD helped me to broaden my understanding of myself and helped me to translate my personality traits into valuable workplace skills. I’m excited for what the future has in store for me.”

If you are interested in learning more about PCWD and other workforce development programs offered at Partners HealthCare, go to www.Partners.org.

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