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Partners HealthCare Job Training and Employment Program Provides Pathways to Careers in Health Care

4/24/2013, 9:05 a.m.
Laphen Walrond (photo courtesy of...
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Christi Ringland

Laphen Walrond (photo courtesy of BWH Bulletin, Brigham and Women’s Hospital) Christi Ringland (Photo courtesy of MGH Hotline, Massachusetts General Hospital)

From administrative and patient care support to operating room technicians, the Partners in Career and Workforce Development (PCWD) program is helping community residents begin and advance their careers in health care.

Since the rigorous job training and internship program began, and with strong community partnerships and great engagement from Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals, 86 percent of the 426 graduates have been placed in jobs at Partners hospitals.

“PCWD helped me get started by giving me the tools that I needed to have a career in health care,” said Christi Ringland, an Equipment Technician 2 - Robotic Specialist - Laser Technician, at Massachusetts General Hospital. “I love being able to provide high-quality patient care and being part of a world class team.”

When Christi found PCWD, she was a young mom working in her children’s school. After entering and graduating the program, she started at MGH in 2004 as an Operating Room Assistant. In this role she transported patients and stocked the OR with general supplies. She has advanced her skills and grown her role to where she is now responsible for duties that include: training staff on the robotic surgical system; troubleshooting the system during robotic procedures; managing the maintenance of the robotic surgical system; and acting as a liaison between hospital, industry and health care professionals about robotic surgical systems.

Amid her busy days in the OR, Christi still finds the time to give back and regularly hosts tours of the OR for current PCWD participants. She says she does this because without PCWD, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

Laphen Walrond is another successful PCWD graduate at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was featured in this space in January, and since then she has received a promotion and been nominated for an Administrative Patient Care Service Support Award. Laphen has worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital since she graduated from PCWD in January 2010 and is also working on her finishing her bachelor’s degree.

The program is a collaboration between Partners Community Health and Human Resources and works with outstanding community partners — Project Hope and Jewish Vocational Service. The mission is to help community residents explore careers in health care and to develop a diverse and well-prepared workforce. It is an unpaid training program which includes four weeks of classroom instruction and a four-week internship in a basic clerical or support staff position. This free, full-time, eight-week training program helps individuals to become: office assistants, unit coordinators, patient service coordinators, practice secretaries, laboratory aides, medical record clerks, operating room assistants, or one of many other exciting positions. Training includes: introduction to the health care environment, resume preparation, interviewing skills, medical terminology, customer service skills, office computer skills, job placement assistance, supportive services, financial literacy education and more. Successful graduates also have an opportunity to receive a stipend for up to 8 weeks while they look for permanent work. All applicants must be eligible to enter the program.

Open houses are held on the first and third Friday of every month. To learn more about PCWD, visit www.partners.org/jobtraining or visit and like the PCWD Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Partnersjobtraining.