Grant to help prepare students for future health care careers

Courtesy photo: Director of Surgical Services Terri Stauffacher, RN, led a tour of Brookings Health’s surgery department for HOSA – Future Health Professionals high school students in December 2017. Brookings School District and Brookings Health System recently partnered to procedure a Workforce Education Grant. Grant funds will help to modernize Career and Technical Education resources for health sciences and increase opportunities for students interested in health careers. Brookings Health has committed to providing students meaningful industry experience to support the program and address immediate workforce needs.

BROOKINGS – Brookings Health System recently partnered with Brookings School District to support and procure a Workforce Education Grant from the South Dakota Department of Education. Programs generated from the grant will impact the future health care and health sciences workforce in the greater Brookings region. 

The grant will help the Brookings School District to modernize Career and Technical Education resources for health sciences and increase opportunities for students interested in pursuing healthcare careers. Using the funds, the school district intends to purchase multiple manikins for classroom and HOSA – Future Health Professionals use, modern hospital beds, emergency medical resources, simulators, training resources and industry-standard storage solutions. 

The CTE programs will build awareness among high school students of high-skill, high-demand and high-wage job opportunities within healthcare and health sciences. The programs will also prepare students to be career and college ready after graduation. Starting the second semester of the 2022-23 school year, students who participate in the program may earn postsecondary credit. They may also become certified to enter the workforce after graduation as a certified nursing assistant or an emergency medical technician. 

To support the CTE program and help address immediate workforce needs, Brookings Health System has committed to providing students meaningful industry experience through facility tours, job shadows and internships. 

“The Brookings School District is fortunate and thankful to have community partners assisting our school system in providing the best educational opportunities possible for our students,” Superintendent Klint Willert said. “Through partnerships like the one we have with Brookings Health System, we can create awareness, opportunities, and support for students and their interests. I am excited about our CTE programs and efforts going forward.”

Brookings Health will also help match grant funds to support program costs, donate equipment and work with CTE program students to bring expertise from the field to the classroom.

“As the largest healthcare employer in Brookings County, part of Brookings Health System’s vision includes investing in tomorrow’s workforce,” President and CEO Jason Merkley said. “By supporting the Brookings School District’s health sciences CTE program, Brookings Health helps ensure we continue to have the talent needed to provide high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care to our community.”

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