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Regional Highlights from the Health Workforce Initiative Team

Health Workforce Initiative Team

Los Angeles Region

Los Angeles Regional Nursing Curriculum Consortium (RNCC). 14 of the 17 Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs in the region have received Strong Workforce funding in 2019-2020 and in the process of applying for 2020-2021 SWP funds to continue the momentum. The goal is to create a fully integrated, accessible, regional, concurrent enrollment ADN-BSN pathway. March meeting due to COVID19 but resumed meeting in April and May via Zoom. Three active workgroups working on the various components of the project, Nursing Core Curriculum, Pre-requisite-Transfer-GE, and National Accreditation. The group will meet later in June with the CA BRN Supervising Nursing Education Consultant, Badrieh Caraway as our guest.

Another project is the Middle School Career Awareness Summer Academy. Held for a number of years, this year it will move to a virtual format. This actually will allow to reach more students with the health module. Each student will receive a kit of supplies to practice the skills in their own home. There are enrolled 6 cohorts of 15 students each, 2 cohorts a week for 3 weeks. In addition to 1st aid, CPR and health career awareness, an integration COVID19 epidemiology and infection control practices to the curriculum.

Shari Herzfeld, RDEE Los Angeles Region


South Central Coast

Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementia Tier 1 and Tier 2 Training February 2020: This two day training was a collaborative effort between Dignity Health Northridge, One Generation (So Cal community based organization providing programs and services to seniors and their caregivers that help keep them safe and protected in their homes), College of the Canyons, National Association of Social Workers Santa Clarita Unit, and Health Workforce Initiative.  41 participants from health care (multiple disciplines), faculty, and students participated in this training. The hope is to continue this collaborative effort for a fall 2020 virtual training and an in person training to be determined dependent on CDC recommendations due to COVID19.

A partnership with National Association of Social Workers (NASW) on suicide assessment training as a professional development for Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley areas. Trainers will be providing content allowing Community College faculty and other professionals eligibility for continuing education units. The training will be in person small group (if deemed safe at the time per public health guidelines) and live streamed for up to 200 others. Other eligible professionals will be nursing students and professional nurses.

Irene Ornelas, RDEE South Central Coast Region


Orange County

There is the potential reopening of the CNA testing centers for Southern and Northern California. Discussions on a possible restart in July, 2020 with Pearson Vue(PV) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Community College Chancellors Office had taken place. There is currently about 150 applicants backlogged in the southern California test center due to COVID-19. The north had around 500 applicants. Priority will be given to the students completion in March, then April, and so forth. Working with PV to write guidelines instructions for setting up test sites with social distancing and PPE use and well has skill modifications, with CDPH review and approval. Test sites will have to follow State and their County Health Department guidelines.

Laurie Sienkiewicz, RDEE Orange County


San Diego

Partnership with the Nursing and Allied Health Service Education Consortium. Scheduled weekly zoom conference calls for the Nursing and Allied Programs to establish processes to reinstate clinical placements for students, and to facilitate communication between program directors and service facilities. A total of 12 meetings have taken place with 75+ individuals in attendance. During these meetings we had speakers that included Loretta Melby, BRN – Executive Director and American DataBank/COMPLIO representatives. Outcomes included: Development of regional survey to assess number of students displaced; number of clinical placements needed for make-up hours; extension of background checks; COMPLIO student membership extension; and Q&A session with healthcare facilities to understand new requirements, limitations and best practices to help students.

Collaboration with Advance Manufacturing Regional Director in the printing of face shields for our healthcare facilities. A total of 3,500 face shields were distributed to local hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Coordinated the Nursing Joint Advisory Zoom Meeting took place on Friday, May 1st. It was a combined Advisory Meeting for all the Nursing Programs in the San Diego/Imperial Regions. The purpose of this meeting was to bring together healthcare facilities stakeholders and provide guidance for our nursing programs. Additionally, all nursing programs provided updates and reported on current program status.

Connie Lafuente, RDEE San Diego


Greater Sacramento

North Region RDEE for Health, partnering with the RDEE for Hospitality and Tourism, Josh Sweigert, to provide support and leadership in developing employment opportunities for displaced hotel and restaurant workers. In collaboration with the Sacramento Office of Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the City of Sacramento’s Office of Economic Development have assembled a workgroup to support employment transition for displaced hospitality and tourism workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The primary goal is to fill an employment need in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities for food service, nutrition services, housekeeping and concierge services.  A complimentary goal is to lead workers to career exploration for training opportunities through our local community colleges. Previous learned skillsets and job experience in customer service, culinary skills, and housekeeping are needed for similar roles in Senior Living communities and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Julie Holt, RDEE Greater Sacramento


North Far North

A 2nd industry convening held on June 9 for the Front Office Business and Medical Office program that will be offered as a 50 hour certificate of completion course at College of the Redwoods Del Norte Campus and Community Education.  It’s a collaboration with industry, community college, WDB and the California Center for Rural Policy Humboldt State.

Trudy Old, RDEE North- Far North