Millennium Supported 2019 ‘Pipeline Programming’ Nurtured, Helped Educate Healthcare Workforce of Tomorrow

“I thought I would never go to college, but this made me think otherwise.”

“I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity to not only learn about a possible future career, but to also meet many patients. Making a difference for the patients and helping them get through a tough moment in their life is what truly brings a smile to my face at the end of each day.”

“This camp increased my overall interest in the public health field.”

“I enjoyed being able to get to know people in different departments and getting to know some residents as well.”

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to assist in the nursing department while learning something new each day. It is very rewarding.”

“Patients should be comfortable and knowledgeable on their conditions or situations. Good/ excellent care will go a long way and even make someone’s day a lot better.”

These were just a few feedback comments received from students who participated in “Pipeline Programming” supported by Millennium’s “Workforce” initiative in 2019.

Convened by Jan Brown, SHRM-CP, PHR, Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development, and Liz Thelen, Manager, Project Management Office, Millennium’s Workforce Committee is co-chaired by Jim Scordato, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Vice President, and consists of healthcare leaders and educators representing organizations across Western New York’s eight counties.

In 2019, the Millennium Workforce Committee focused on the Erie, Niagara, Southern Tier geographic regions; supporting, expanding, or promoting existing programs; and coordinating with other DSRIP efforts whenever possible. The Committee was dedicated to observing and addressing current healthcare workforce trends; aligning educational offerings with employment needs; monitoring and addressing local labor shortages and job openings; and identifying and filling regional training needs.

A key highlight of the Committee’s efforts in 2019 was support directed to “Pipeline” educational programs designed to nurture and educate the healthcare workforce of tomorrow. The 2019 programs included:

D’Youville College Public Health Camp ; Canisius College Public Health Camp; and the Public Health Summer Camp at University at Buffalo (UB) School of Public Health and Health Professions.

ECMC 12th Annual Summer Youth Intern Program also supported by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and the First Niagara Foundation

Med Tech Camps at Alfred University and Alfred-Almond Junior-Senior High School, a public high school located in Almond, Allegany County, New York, also supported by the Western New York Rural Area Health Education

2019 Summer Pipeline Programming Highlights

D’Youville College Public Health Camp ; Canisius College Public Health Camp; and Public Health Summer Camp at University at Buffalo (UB) School of Public Health and Health Professions

• In Summer 2019, Erie Niagara AHEC conducted three week-long summer camps in collaboration with local colleges/universities for 52 new students. The programs were designed to increase student understanding of both public health and health related careers.

• The first camp, held at D’Youville College from July 8-12, 2019 focused on public health. Twenty students entering grades 7, 8, and 9 from 15 from Buffalo Public Schools participated. Topics included: Cultural competency, mindfulness; Maternal and child health; Healthcare system: Evergreen Health Services;  Mercy Flight, ambulance; Environmental health; Food security, Community gardens, urban agriculture; Public health; and Behavioral health.

• The second camp held at Canisius College from July 15-19, 2019, focused on a variety of health professions. Thirteen students entering grades 7, 8, and 9 from Buffalo Public Schools participated focusing on topics: Health careers; Physics, biology, and chemistry labs; Physician Assistant; Neurology, brain function, anatomy; Pharmacy; Dentistry (UB); Animal behavior (Buffalo Zoo).

• The final summer camp of the season was the 4th Annual Public Health Summer Camp hosted in collaboration with the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) from July 29 – August 2.

23 students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 participated including students from the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Niagara County. Topics included: Social determinants of health; Athletic injuries; Narcan training for opioid overdoses; Community accessibility; Community-based organizations (MOCHA Center, Evergreen).

“Students attending these programs were primarily underrepresented minorities and /or economically disadvantaged,” explained Brittany Mitchell, MSW, Program Manager, Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center. “For the first time, Erie Niagara AHEC was able to recruit students from the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Niagara County, and bus them to and from the Public Health Summer Camp at the University at Buffalo.”

ECMC 12th Annual Summer Youth Intern Program also supported by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and the First Niagara Foundation

• The program afforded 125 interns (15-17 years old in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade) the opportunity to gain valuable experience and participate across many hospital departments including: Nursing, Surgical, Radiology, Pharmacy, Emergency Department; Behavioral Health, Lab, Transplant, Dental, Primary Care Clinic, Rehab; Terrace View Skilled Nursing Facility, Specialty Care, Internal Med, Clinics; Finance, Purchasing, Legal, HR, Patient Advocate; and Hospital Police, Patient Safety, Transportation.
• The students attended two six-hour days (12 hours) per week for four weeks, culminating in an awards/graduation ceremony at the end of the summer.

WNY Rural AHEC Healthcare Highlights

To recruit prospective students, a newsletter was sent to 42 schools and districts in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties. This was in addition to specific recruitment posters (spring 2020): High schools, BOCES, hospitals, in Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties

WNY Rural AHEC “Pipeline Program” highlights included:

  • Med Tech Camps at Alfred University and Almond High School in Allegany County supported by the Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center.
  • Career Fair at State University of New York at Alfred attended by 112 students from Allegany County.




10 reasons to consider a healthcare career in Chautauqua County

1. Job security
The healthcare field is growing rapidly and there is a high demand for healthcare workers especially in Chautauqua County. Medical jobs are here to stay providing one of the most stable career fields out there.

2. Funding is available to help pay for school
Many areas of Chautauqua County are classified as a Health Professional shortage Area (HPSA). This makes health professionals eligible for scholarships, financial aid, grants and Loan Repayment Program (LRP) assistance such as through the National Health Service Corps.

3. Vast variety of jobs
Not only are there numerous jobs in organizations like Brooks Memorial Hospital, but there’s also a variety. Primary care doctors and nurses are very welcome and needed, but so are medial coders and billers, administrators, nutritionists, and medical technologists. These positions and many others use diverse skills to effectively provide healthcare services in our county.

4. You will do work that interests you
Because of the large variety of jobs, a career in the healthcare field can lead in many different directions and options. In Chautauqua County, you can work in clinics, homes, hospitals and the YMCA.

5. Professional Growth
There is a shortage of healthcare workers in our county. As a result, you are likely to encounter a variety of areas of medicine and a wider scope of illness and injury. Ultimately, you will gain a wealth of experience which may aid in your career advancement.

6. You become part of our community
In a rural setting you are able to spend more time with patients while developing personal relationships. Community members in Chautauqua County will get to know you, trust you and appreciate the care you provide to them.

7. You will make a difference in people’s lives
Working in Chautauqua County is a very rewarding job. There is nothing more satisfying than to know you have helped someone better their health and get back to what they love best.

8. Greater Quality of Life
Fresh air and clean water improve physical and emotional health.
Rural areas have significantly lower costs of living. In small towns like Jamestown and Fredonia, you will have the means to purchase larger homes, own land, get to know your neighbors, shop at unique stores, golf, or ski at the Peek’n Peak Resort.
You can also explore interesting places like the National Comedy Center, the Grape Discovery Center, or the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Gift Shop.
Are you interested in art? Why not check out Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery or the Chautauqua Art Gallery showing fine art and artisan crafts by award winning regional artists.

9. Better for your Health
Chautauqua County offers the opportunity for achieving a perfect work/life balance. Many of these locations offer good schools, low crime rates, and less stress. You can walk or drive to work without a lot of traffic and noise. In addition, you have access to nature and activities such as camping, biking, hiking the Panama State Forest, and going to Cassadaga Farmers’ Market for fresh and locally grown produce.

10. Emphasis is on Technique
In a small community, physicians become skilled at palpation, data collection, and interviewing in order to build good patient/worker relationships and diagnose illness. With emerging technologies and dedicated point-to-point fiber optics connections, health records, telemedicine, and physician collaborations are just a click away. Living in a rural area encourages the use of the newest technologies.


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