Quick pivots and active listening yield new opportunities for program participants and employer partners.
Montefiore Medical Center’s Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program provides participants with healthcare training, employment placement, and support services in the boroughs of the Bronx and Manhattan, as well as Westchester County. Their goal is to advance careers in the healthcare field. Montefiore’s extensive partner network ensures long-term career opportunities for their participants.
The onset of COVID-19 greatly impacted the Bronx where infection and death rates were significantly higher than the rest of the city. Participants could not complete their healthcare trainings due to a city-wide lockdown, and education partners turned their training rooms into distribution centers for personal protective equipment (PPE). Montefiore began to reexamine how to meet the needs of their participants.
Montefiore’s vocational counselors checked in with participants and provided support services such as case management and transportation. They also provided referrals to community-based partner organizations for food and housing support. Counselors adjusted the program to the pandemic by adding new certifications and trainings such as contact tracing, temporary nurse aide, medical secretary training or patient service representative, as well as enhanced their medical assistant training. They also hosted a Zoom call with Montefiore’s Workforce Investment Organization (WIO) and educated participants on the virus, self-care best practices, and caring for others.
When training was halted at multiple HPOG employer partners, Montefiore reached out and worked with New York state authorities to ensure safe, alternative clinical training. Every participant received a professional PPE kit before work. After training, participants earned their certificates, helping meet the high demand for home care workers in the area.
By listening to the needs of their students and partners, Montefiore gives participants new opportunities and helps employers provide quality healthcare for the community.
This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.