August 16, 2023
As Pennsylvania ages, many health care professionals are reaching retirement age just as the need for health care is rapidly growing. Hospitals and health systems are leading the way in fostering the next generation of health care professionals to care for Pennsylvanians and our communities.
Allegheny Health Network (AHN) recently began a pilot program to provide hands-on educational opportunities to middle and high school students—with a focus on students from disadvantaged communities—through its Simulation, Teaching, and Academic Research (STAR) Center.
The STAR Center—which provides training and education for students, health care practitioners, and allied health professionals—includes state-of-the-art simulations to develop and refine technical and interpersonal skills critical to health care.
Funded by a donation from community members, the pilot program has a two-fold benefit. First, it expands opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine (STEMM) learning among students from disadvantaged communities, helping to address disparities in STEMM education. Second, it introduces students to careers in health care, helping to build a stronger and more-diverse health care workforce.
The pilot is happening alongside AHN’s system-wide expansion of its Talent Attraction Program (TAP), a first-of-its-kind work study program that recruits and supports students from underrepresented communities as they train for health care careers. The program was recognized with a 2023 HAP Achievement Award.
AHN is also partnering with educators on other workforce initiatives, such as mentorship and surgery-observation programs for students interested in medicine and a partnership with Community College of Allegheny County that allows students to get clinical experience and receive sign-on bonuses for working at AHN.
HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospital community are committed to developing tomorrow’s health care workforce. In addition to their own initiatives and community partnerships, hospitals are advocating for public policies to grow and support the health care workforce.
Learn more about HAP and the hospital community’s workforce advocacy online.
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