CDPHP Announces Support for SCCC Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)

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CDPHP has committed critical funding to the SCCC Foundation to support SCCC’s Health Professions Opportunity Grants (HPOG), a program that provides educational and employment assistance for low-income students being trained for careers in health care.

A student of the HPOG program demonstrates skills learned in the Albany laboratory.

“As a former practicing cardiologist, I can tell you firsthand that the jobs these students are embarking upon are crucial to the health care industry, which is expected to create 5.6 million new jobs by 2020.” said CDPHP president, Dr. John Bennett.

Jessica Keegan is one of more than 560 students who have graduated from Schenectady County Community College’s Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program, an initiative that trains students for rewarding careers in health care.

Jessica, who is a Patient Flow Coordinator in the emergency room at Ellis Hospital, earned her Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) credential at SCCC’s Albany HPOG site in July 2012. She spoke during an event announcing CDPHP’s support for the initiative. “The program gave me the confidence I needed to go back into my workforce,” she said. “I could get my foot in the door first as a CNA.”

CDPHP, a physician-founded, community-based health plan, has pledged $20,000 to the SCCC Foundation to support the HPOG program, which provides educational and employment assistance for low-income students being trained for careers in health care.

“As a not-for-profit health plan serving more than 400,000 members, from all walks of life, we understand the importance of providing individuals with opportunities to achieve their goals,” said Dr. John Bennett, president and CEO of CDPHP. “As a former practicing cardiologist, I can tell you firsthand that the jobs these students are embarking upon are crucial to the health care industry, which is expected to create 5.6 million new jobs by 2020.”

SCCC’s Albany HPOG location has grown since the College first began offering classes and labs there in April 2011, preparing students for careers as Home Health Aides, Certified Nurse Aide, Personal Care Aides and Dental Lab Technicians. Dr. Quintin Bullock, President of SCCC, said that CDPHP’s commitment to the program contributes significantly to this momentum, enabling students to change their lives.

“I thank and commend CDPHP and Dr. Bennett for their foresight and commitment to helping build the healthcare workforce of tomorrow in the Capital Region with their generosity,”
Dr. Bullock said. “SCCC and the HPOG program look forward to this new partnership as more and more of our students graduate and find quality employment in these growing fields. Working together, we are building a brighter future for our region.”

The SCCC HPOG program first began in January 2011 and is funded through a Health Profession Opportunity Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families. Courses and labs, which replicate long-term care facilities, are offered in Schenectady and in Albany. Of those students who enrolled in HPOG programs, 93 percent completed their training, with 512 students earning licenses. There are currently 64 students attending classes at both locations.

In addition to providing students with educational and employment assistance, the program also features unique incentives to help reduce barriers of attending school, including daycare and transportation assistance.

After completing their training, students are qualified to enter the health care field and they often have goals of pursuing higher education and ascending to other positions within the field. Jessica plans on earning a two-year degree first and then a four-year degree to become either a registered nurse or an administrator at a health care facility.

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Ali Skinner
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