Chair, Board of Managers, Nexus Montgomery Regional Partnership
President, Holy Cross Health Network, Holy Cross Health
The healthcare field not only needs more workers, we also need diversity. Among Montgomery County residents, there is no racial or ethnic majority population. As health care organizations, we need a workforce that reflects the racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our patients, who can communicate in patients' languages and provide culturally appropriate care.
At the same time, many of our communities need greater employment opportunities. Large numbers of people lost service or hospitality jobs in the pandemic, and many of those jobs have not returned. Healthcare is a growing field with a wide range of opportunities for entry-level jobs and advancement. With the necessary training, there are ready career opportunities in healthcare professions. But many people do not know the resources available to help them access secure employment and a brighter future.
That is why Nexus Montgomery Regional Partnership, Montgomery College, and the Primary Care Coalition have developed a collaborative approach to workforce development.
Our program will:
- Expand the pipeline of culturally and linguistically diverse students new to the workforce, ensuring that the healthcare workforce mirrors the community and supports economic empowerment for under-employed residents.
- Increase the number of students who can be served in Montgomery College's high-quality health care programs.
- Ensure that students have the wrap-around services needed to overcome barriers to education and employment success.
Nexus Montgomery Regional Partnership (Nexus Montgomery) is a joint venture among the six hospitals operating in Montgomery County to identify and jointly act on needs in their shared community. As the Nexus Montgomery management entity, the Primary Care Coalition has requested federal funds to support the entire training pathway, from program recruitment to job placement and career planning. The program will assist up to 200 low-income healthcare trainees from underserved areas in Montgomery County to access, pay for, and complete Montgomery College's degree and certificate programs.
Our plan is for this program to create a sustainable pipeline of students entering health careers, to meet the ever-growing demand for more workers. By providing assistance with getting started in the field, we hope to establish pathways toward long-lasting career growth and success. We will have created a win for healthcare systems and our community—exactly the results our Nexus Montgomery partnership is all about.