Peninsula College is joining forces with healthcare providers in Clallam and Jefferson counties to grow their allied health programs as part of a pilot project to address a critical community need for registered nurses, medical assistants and certified nursing assistants.
A proviso in the recently passed state budget will allow PC to expand its allied health programs by hiring three more instructors and increasing the number of students enrolled annually to meet the need for trained health care providers in the community, beginning this fall.
The proviso came about as a result of an ongoing conversation between the College, Olympic Medical Center, Jefferson Healthcare, Forks Community Hospital, and area lawmakers. The providers took the initiative to push for the conditions to help meet the need within the community.
The budget invests $437,000 dollars for the Peninsula College training programs which will help address workforce gaps in health care services.
The funding will increase capacity of current college programs as follows:
- Increase medical assisting cohort from 20 to 40
- Increase nursing assistant cohort from 40 to 60
- Increase registered nursing cohort from 24 to 32
Annual funding allotments of $60,000 and $40,000 respectively from Olympic Medical Center and Jefferson Healthcare over the next four years will support the project, along with a $50,000 donation from Bill and Esther Littlejohn of Sequim and a $10,000 annual donation over three years from the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
The effort will also allow increased support for program enrollment, help students offset the cost of tuition and fees, increase preceptor and clinical opportunities for learners and offer enhanced career advising and job placement services for students. The allocation will also allow local medical assisting and nursing students to be able to train and work in their communities.
Students’ clinical placement, on-the-job training will be provided locally by Olympic Medical Center, Jefferson Healthcare, The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Forks Community Hospital, as well as with area convalescent, assisted living and mental health providers.
The Washington State Department of Health has designated Clallam and Jefferson counties as a “medically underserved areas” (MUA’s) with a lack of primary care services. This designation is based on four criteria that include infant mortality rate, poverty rate, percentage of elderly, and primary care physician to population ratio. In addition to the MUA listing, the region is included in the highest category for the health professional shortage in Washington State.
For more information contact Dr. Mia Boster at email@example.com.