Greenfield Community College (GCC) and Cooley Dickinson Health Care have agreed to work together to develop ways that they can further their respective educational and patient care missions.
GCC’s well-respected and robust programs to train health care workers and Cooley Dickinson’s desire to expand the pool of local talent to meet the health care needs of the Pioneer Valley inspired the two organizations to agree to work together.
As a start, GCC is occupying space that is leased by Cooley Dickinson at 10 Main Street in Florence to house GCC’s Practical Nursing Certificate Program. Over the coming months, the two organizations will identify additional ways to partner that will help both better serve students, patients, and the community.
Commenting on the new partnership, GCC President Bob Pura said, “I am truly excited about this new partnership. I think the world of Joanne Marqusee [Cooley Dickinson CEO] and the hospital. Cooley Dickinson is a major health care provider in Hampshire County and this affiliation means that GCC has partnered with another major health care provider in our area.
“These are strong affiliations for the college. The new home of the Practical Nursing Program at 10 Main Street in Florence is a terrific space for our programs. We’re particularly appreciative of Cooley Dickinson providing space for the year. Cooley Dickinson has really extended a hand to the college and we appreciate how they’ve made it so easy for us. This new collaboration is good for students, good for the hospital, and good for the community.”
Marqusee, who has served as CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care for the past year, agreed that the expanded relationship between the two organizations would enhance both the care in the community and the educational opportunities in the region.
“The future of health care lies in the network of services that will require all of us to develop new ways to deliver care while lowering costs and achieving higher quality standards. It will be important that we think ahead about the kinds of skills and training needed in our workforce to be successful in the new health care environment,” she said.
“Some of these health care workers will get their start at institutions like GCC. Bob Pura recognizes that building a strong health care workforce is critical to the Pioneer Valley’s health care sector as well as our local economy. He has provided the leadership to support these educational needs and the vision to create relationships that will ensure a robust workforce into the future. I look forward to the opportunities this collaboration offers.”
The ten-month GCC Practical Nursing Program, with its new location in Cooley Dickinson space in Northampton, is the first step in this collaboration. The program includes a curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Practicing LPNs must graduate from an approved certificate program and be licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before they can provide care and services to patients.
The LPN delivers care to adults and children with common health problems, administering medications and certain treatments, assisting with diagnostic procedures, and organizing various services and aspects of care. LPNs are employed in a variety of health settings including long-term care facilities and ambulatory settings such as doctors’ offices.
By Mary McClintock, ’82
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