Posted on February 17, 2022 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and COPE Health Solutions recently launched the COPE Health Researchers program, an innovative and hands-on educational course that gives Mendocino County residents a pathway to careers in health care. Designed for high school graduates, college students, and career changers, participants combine online courses with a minimum of 280 hours of in-person experience at Ukiah Valley Hospital, providing valuable support to patients and caregivers. clinicians.
“The COPE Health Scholars program reflects our deep commitment to the community by expanding local health care opportunities while increasing access to quality health care,” said Judson Howe, president of Adventist Health Ukiah Hospital. Valley. “We are grateful to our fellows who make an immediate and significant contribution to patient care, especially at a time when the need for healthcare workers is so critical.”
The first 13 COPE Health Fellows at Ukiah Valley Hospital have completed coursework in the program and are now pursuing clinical and non-clinical rotations at the hospital. To accommodate participants’ work, education, and other commitments, the flexible Health Researcher Program can be completed in three to 15 months, depending on the number of four-hour shifts taken per week. Graduates of the Health Scholars program receive a certificate of completion from Keck Graduate Institute, a member of Claremont Colleges.
A Proven Path to Healthcare Careers
Darian Gavazza is the first fellow to complete the entire program, in just three months, and has been hired by Adventist Health Ukiah Valley as a patient care technician. The 26-year-old Willits native and mother of two also recently graduated from Mendocino College in Allied Health and plans to continue her studies there to become a nurse.
“I am grateful for all the opportunities that COPE Health Scholars has given me. The hands-on experience convinced me that nursing is the right career for me and led me to my current job at Adventist Health caring for patients,” Gavazza said.
Like Gavazza, health researchers often continue their studies or are hired by Adventist Health. Ukiah Valley is the seventh Adventist health facility to offer the Scholars program. Since 2008, more than 4,500 students have participated in COPE Health Scholars programs at Adventist health facilities, with more than 260 program graduates hired into non-provider roles.
“Adventist Health is at the forefront of a new approach to caring for its communities by both creating workforce pipelines for critical roles and prioritizing local residents for these job opportunities. education, employment and career development,” said Elizabeth DuBois, DNP, FNP-BC, AAHIVS, COPE. Senior Vice President of Health Solutions, who leads the partnership with Adventist Health and is a practicing provider at Adventist Health.
Caring for local communities
There is a nationwide shortage of many healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants and lab technicians. A survey shows that one in three Californians say their community doesn’t have enough caregivers, and in rural areas that number jumps to 50%.
To address these challenges, Adventist Health is collaborating with Los Angeles and New York-based health consulting and workforce development leader COPE Health Solutions to create and operate a series of specialized educational programs that offer employment opportunities to residents of its communities.
In Mendocino County, in addition to the COPE Health Scholars program, Adventist Health created the COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant Program in 2021. This seven-month educational program includes virtual classes and 200 hours of clinical learning and training with patients and clinical mentors. . The first cohort of Physician Assistant Fellows is training at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits. They are all guaranteed job interviews after graduating and passing certification tests for medical assistants.
For more information on the COPE Health Scholars Program at Ukiah Valley Hospital, please visit copehealthscholars.org/locations/mendocino-county or contact Kristina Lamb, Ukiah Valley COPE Health Scholars Program Manager, at [email protected]. For more information about the COPE Health Scholars Physician Assistant Program in Mendocino County, please visit copehealthscholars.org/programs/medicalassistantschool.
About COPE Health Fellows
COPE Health Scholars programs provide virtual classroom and hands-on clinical experience in healthcare settings for future healthcare professionals. After completing training and written and practical tests, health researchers support various care teams, including helping patients eat, walk, bathe, and check vital signs. To explore a variety of healthcare careers, fellows also complete rotations in non-clinical departments. A division of healthcare consulting and leader in the development of the COPE Health Solutions workforce, the innovative program began in 2000 and has graduated more than 45,000 healthcare fellows.