Last Thursday, October 8th, the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) of Montgomery County and The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) hosted a symposium entitled, “Preparing for Tomorrow: Healthcare Workforce Pipeline Project.” The event honored the 72 students who have received scholarships thus far through the HIF two-year $400,000 grant which was created to support a total of 210 students in the following programs: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Department of Social Work; University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, and School of Social Work. The symposium celebrated the successful completion of the first year.
The primary goal of the HIF is to enhance and expand the workforce development in the healthcare field within Montgomery County. The scholarships have created a healthcare workforce pipeline, helping students transition from the classroom into the field work-ready.
In addition, the grant supports four innovative initiatives that prepares students to meet the health and wellness needs of the community and connect them with future employers in their professional fields. The first initiative enabled 17 students to learn interdisciplinary practices and gain real-world experience at the Mercy Health Clinic. The Mercy Health Clinic is a free, not-for-profit, non-sectarian, community based primary healthcare provider serving uninsured, low-income adult residents in Montgomery County. Three students gave a presentation at the symposium about their experience working on a interdisciplinary team at the Mercy Health Clinic. The three students pictured are: Kimberly Cate (UMB School of Social Work), Christopher St. Clair (UMB School of Pharmacy), and Rachel Hong (UMB School of Nursing).
The second initiative places 193 students in clinical rotations at Montgomery County non-profits in the healthcare field which enhances the students’ knowledge of community health and develop a greater understanding for the community.
In an effort to respond to the pressing need for culturally competent social workers with experience serving children under the age of 12, a cohort of 12 social work scholarship recipients was created to complete their field placements with non-profits serving this age group. The third initiative established a Bilingual Writing Mentor Program which supports the academic success of 20 students whose first language is not English. The fourth initiative is focusing on establishing professional mentorships with 10 scholarship recipients to better connect students with local networks and encourage them to work here in Montgomery County after attaining their degrees. These students and their mentors connected at the symposium (please see the list of mentors below).
“Montgomery County is an amazingly diverse community and we need to ensure we have a healthcare delivery system that supports the needs of those we serve,” said Crystal Carr Townsend, president of the HIF. “That’s why our primary goal is to increase the number of culturally competent healthcare professionals that will be well prepared to succeed in settings such as community-based healthcare clinics. We’re excited about the progress we are making through this wonderful partnership with USG.”
Stacy Carroll—Senior Business Analysis, Digital Infuzion, Inc.
Mark Cress—Regional Sales Director, Cassidian Communications
Steve Eastham—Healthcare Initiative Foundation, Secretary
Debbie Feinstein—Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Chief, Family Violence Division, Montgomery County, Maryland
Larry Gross—Executive Director of Market Development, Kaiser Permanente
Fariba Kassiri—Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Montgomery County Government
David Kressler, Ph.D.—Healthcare Initiative Foundation, Vice Chairman and Chair of Investment Committee
Joe Kristovich—VP of Financial Services, Kelly & Associates Insurance Group
Lesley J. MacDonald—Director of Community Investment, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Paola Moya—CEO & Principal, Marshall Moya Design
Sari Raskin—Associate Director of Community Investments, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Carol Rognrud—Executive Director, Montgomery College Foundation
Ed Rothenberg—Sr. Solution Specialist, Oracle Hospitality
DeeDee Smartt Lynch—Founder & President, Smartt Strategies
Rick Woo—Senior VP/Commercial Relationship Manager, Revere Bank