Gundersen Health System donated $9,868 to Wonewoc-Union Center School District to support the new Health Skills Lab. The money will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the course aimed at developing a certified lab where certified nursing assistant (CNA) courses can be held with the hope of increasing the supply of CNAs in the region.
Wonewoc-Union Center High School already has a well-established Health Careers Today class where juniors and seniors are able to become certified in CPR. The CNA Skills Lab program is a collaboration between the school district, Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics and Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Elroy. The program will be open to students from Wonewoc-Union Center, Royall and Hillsboro school districts and comes with full support from Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics–which sought funding through Gundersen Health System.
"This is an exciting opportunity to support the development of a new generation of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to help ease the shortage that our region is experiencing," says Kristie McCoic, clinic operations officer and director of human resources at Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics. "Healthcare is a growing industry as our population continues to age and it's in the best interests of the communities we serve to ensure we have the workforce to handle the growth."
Principal Michelle Noll expressed excitement at the new venture and future opportunities. "This donation gives us the opportunity to provide good quality education for students looking to step into the world of healthcare. We recognize the shortage in the workforce and we're doing our bit to help make a change." Noll also discussed future expansion ideas for the Health Skills Lab including emergency medical technician (EMT) courses.
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