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Helping the Local Health Care Sector
Its Workforce
Corporate and Community Education
hrough critical partnerships and a series of
recent grants, Corporate Education & Training
at Middlesex continues to support workforce
development at local hospitals.
In partnership with Middlesex, Lowell General
Hospital (LGH) and Lahey Health were recently
awarded grants from the state Health Care
Workforce Transformation Fund. The $244,000
LGH grant supports an ongoing effort to train staff
in "lean" practices. And the almost $60,000
grant to Lahey will deliver training to
key staff in the Patient-Centered Medical Home
model of care.
"MCC plays such a key role in the resiliency of
the health care sector in our service area," said
Judy Burke, Dean of Corporate and Community
Education & Training. "These most recent grants
are reinforcing those relationships and help our
local employers become stronger."
"Middlesex shares Lowell General Hospital's
commitment to the community," said Deborah
Bergholm-Petka, LGH Director of Organizational
Development. "As one of the largest employers in
the area, Lowell General has a diverse employee
population with diverse professional development
needs. MCC provides resources that support all
of our employees."
Lowell General and Lahey submitted Transforma-
tion Fund grants, and Middlesex is a subcontrac-
tor, explained Burke. "We don't always provide
training in specific topics," she said. "But we
know the right people and organizations to
bring into a project to make it successful."
At LGH, for example, MCC brought in the Greater
Boston Manufacturing Partnership (GBMP) to train
hospital staff in lean practices. The grant will help
almost 200 hospital leaders address operational
challenges to improve the quality and efficiency
of care.
"The U.S. health care industry is experiencing
dramatic change, and hospitals are facing
increased pressure to provide the highest quality,
most efficient care possible at the lowest cost
while still delivering a compassionate and
patient-focused experience that exceeds
expectations," said Bergholm-Petka.
"Lean is an innovative quality-improvement
philosophy and set of principles originated by the
Toyota Motor Co. that focus on minimizing waste
and creating value," Bergholm-Petka explained.
A great example is the waste of time.
"In many aspects of health care, patients need
to wait for services," she said. "We want to find
ways to remove that wait time for our patients.
This grant-funded training will enable LGH to
learn new ways to reduce areas of waste across
every department and area in our organization."
"Middlesex is not providing the lean training
that's up to the GBMP," added Burke. "We are
doing the leadership and project-manager
training that make lean successful. You can't do
lean in a vacuum you have to empower people
to implement those principles."
Even though LGH is only two months into the
grant, the hospital is already seeing improve-
ment, Bergholm-Petka said. "We are seeing great
progress and results. A lean project involving the
Emergency Department & Laboratory focused on
decreasing the turn-around time for laboratory
tests," she said.
"This project has resulted in a series of new
interventions with shorter times for diagnosis and
treatment, shorter wait times for patients, and
improved patient and employee experiences as
well as improved revenue due to increased bed
availability," said Bergholm-Petka.
Ongoing partnerships like this also benefit the
college, Burke stressed. "These projects help
Middlesex in so many ways, like when our
Nursing students are looking for clinical
placements, or when we need industry
representatives to sit on advisory boards.
Our history with our local hospitals is so
strong we're always looking to strengthen
the workforce where we live."
Kathy Register