SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) has stepped in to fill the need for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) by partnering with Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers. Ten employees comprised the third class of graduates from the Pathways to LVN Program in May 2012. The training was provided by Chaffey College.
The Pathways to LVN Program provides Kaiser Permanente staff members with an opportunity to not only enhance their skills and advance their careers, but also enhance the level of service received by patients. When Suzie Aguirre learned about the opportunity to participate, she jumped at the chance.
"This gave me the opportunity to further my education and become an LVN," Aguirre said.
Through Workforce Investment Board funding, Aguirre received help with tuition and the cost of books and supplies.
"With everyone's help and family support, I graduated," she said. "I am very proud of myself and of this positive outcome."
According to the Workforce Access Matrix website, there is forecasted growth of 26% in San Bernardino County's need for LVNs. The Matrix is a cooperative effort between the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) Alliance for Education, and the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.
LVNs play a vital role in the outpatient primary care setting. The role of the LVN is to perform technical tasks such as medication administration and wound care. The LVN's licensed scope of practice allows them to cosign physician orders, manage patient messages, and further participate in Kaiser Permanente's clinical goals and initiatives.
In January 2010, the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center partnered with the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board and Chaffey Community College to start the first Pathways to LVN Program in San Bernardino County. The program is an 18-month/three-semester curriculum that provides an educational opportunity for qualified Medical Assistants to become Licensed Vocational Nurses. The program targets employees who live in San Bernardino County.
"The Workforce Investment Board's partnership with Kaiser Permanente serves our county's residents and businesses by funding training programs to upgrade the skills of our local workforce," said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board. "The Pathways to LVN is just one of the ways we use federal funding to support local businesses by upgrading the skills of existing employees so they can serve the organization at a higher level."
"We are very proud of Suzie Aguirre and all of the graduates who successfully completed this program," said Josie Gonzales, chair and Fifth District Supervisor. "The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board's partnership with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center is an example of how we can work together to bring opportunities to job seekers and employers."
The next class from the Pathways to LVN Program will graduate December 2012. San Bernardino County residents who are interested in Workforce Investment Board training programs may contact their local Employment Resource Center or call (800) 451-JOBS; visit http://www.csb-win.org/ .
About Kaiser Permanente:
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.4 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to www.kp.org/newscenter.
Kaiser Permanente's Fontana and Ontario Service Area has provided comprehensive, affordable health care to the Inland Empire for nearly 70 years and serves approximately 430,000 members. The Fontana and Ontario Service Area includes the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Fontana and Ontario, and medical offices in Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Colton, Claremont, Montclair, Chino, San Bernardino, Victorville, Redlands, and Upland.
About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County:
The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County (WIB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors. The WIB strives to strengthen the skills of the County's workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing county resources, which generate jobs and investment.
The WIB, through the County of San Bernardino's Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino's Employment Resource Centers (ERCs) and Business Resource Centers (BRCs). The ERCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The BRCs support and provide services to the County's businesses including employee recruitment.