It’s National Mentoring Month, and, to that end, AtlantiCare and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s first historically Black college, announced an enhanced partnership aimed at expanding student learning and career opportunities.
With the goal of creating a more diversified workforce to help achieve greater health equity in communities across the region and in health care in general, leaders from both organizations welcomed 25 Cheyney life sciences and technology students who volunteered to spend a week of their winter break participating in a unique immersive learning opportunity with the AtlantiCare team.
AtlanticCare with will continue to host opportunities for Cheyney students through August.
“Our shared goals include enhancing learning and career opportunities for Cheyney students,” Lori Herndon, AtlantiCare CEO and president, stated. “Our AtlantiCare team is committed to mentoring these students, introducing them to opportunities and helping them make connections for health care and other careers. We make sure diversity, equity & inclusion is part of everything we do in caring for our community; this includes making sure our care team represents the patients we serve.”
“Our goal with every collaborative effort is to equip our students to become future leaders in the profession they are studying and pursuing,” Aaron Walton, president, Cheyney University, said. “These partnerships are benefiting our entire academic community, allowing students and educators to utilize these opportunities to create new career pathways — on and off the campus. Bringing industry leaders to our campus and providing avenues for students to access off-campus partners, like AtlantiCare, allow students to engage and acquire skills for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Education for the week of Jan. 9-13 includes rotations with health care professionals at AtlantiCare’s Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus and in its newly opened Medical Arts Pavilion and the William L. Gormley AtlantiCare HealthPlex — also in Atlantic City.
The approximately 30 different areas and roles students will learn about include emergency services, AtlantiCare’s Federally Qualified Health Center, family medicine and pediatric clinics, Intensive Care Unit, medical lab sciences, neurosciences, nursing, Operating Room, orthopaedics, pediatric, pharmacy, physical therapy, surgical services, trauma, radiology, respiratory therapy and more.
By providing students with these experiences, AtlantiCare and Cheyney support regional economies by paving the way for steady employment and ensuring critical health care positions have a pipeline of dedicated, qualified candidates.
Herndon presented each student with a starfish. She explained that AtlantiCare embraces Loren Eiseley’s starfish story, “The Star Thrower,” as a symbol of its commitment to delivering health and healing to all people — one person at a time — through trusting relationships.
“This partnership brings the best of what Cheyney is all about to the best of what AtlantiCare is all about,” Herndon said. “What matters to each of us as leaders in health care and education, is that this is a great kickoff to what we hope will be a long relationship.”
In the spring, AtlantiCare will host another group of Cheyney University students for a learning opportunity focused on social determinants of health. This experience will offer students a deeper understanding of how AtlantiCare addresses food insecurity though its pantry, HealthPlex and Federally Qualified Health Center, and other community health issues.