Careers in Care

NEPA Health Care Foundation board members at the launch of Careers in Care, from left: Robert Knowles, Board vice-chair; Jeremiah Eagen, M.D.; Donna Martucci; Michele McGowan; James Clemente, Board chair; Honorable Terrence Nealon; and Laura Ducceshi, president and CEO of Scranton Area Community Foundation and administrator of the NEPA Health Care Foundation.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation recently announced the launch of a new initiative, Careers in Care, focused on feeding the regional pipeline of the health care workforce as well as support for growth and retention for the nursing profession in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.

The foundation announced the commitment of $1.5 million to Careers in Care over a three year period (2020-2023).

The new initiative comes as the next step following a year-long strategic pause on the traditional grant-making process and the completion of a regional listening tour last year. From May through September of 2019, the foundation conducted 30 site visits with multiple health care providers, colleges, universities, vocational schools, agencies and other nonprofit organizations.

“It was clear from discussions during our listening tour that there is a great demand for nurses at all levels,” said Laura Ducceschi, president and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, in a news release. “Supply is not able to meet demand, and the healthcare workforce currently faces issues related to burnout and high turnover rates.”

The new initiative will work to address educational barriers for K-12 students through programs for underserved and diverse students, programs for students from low-to-middle income backgrounds and regional credit accumulation programs for middle and high school students.

At the college level, the initiative will address nursing student dropout rates, stipend funds for nursing curriculum, clinical placement challenges, the lack of nurse educators to support nurse education and training and other aspects that have contributed to the regional nursing shortage.

At the professional level, the initiative will provide support for leadership development programs for nurses at all levels and programs and initiatives that address employee satisfaction levels for nurses and focus on growth, success and retention of nurses across the region.

Careers in Care will partner with organizations and entities throughout Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties to prioritize support for the nursing profession and healthcare workforce pipeline programs.

Careers in Care is interested in supporting innovative career path programs to move nurses up through various credential levels; programs to help mitigate burnout and injuries in the workplace; programs focusing on growth, success, resilience and retention of nurses; measures to address nursing student dropout rates; programs and initiatives that address the employee satisfaction levels for nurses and more.

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