Home Health Wellstar Supports Developing Future Healthcare Professionals at Cobb Innovation Technology Academy

Wellstar Supports Developing Future Healthcare Professionals at Cobb Innovation Technology Academy

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A large group of medical students are seen sitting in rows of desk as they work in pairs on various activities. They are each dressed professionally in scrubs and are working diligently on perfecting their skills. Their professor is seen checking in on various students in the background.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020, the U.S. healthcare system was dealing with a major shortage of workers, especially nurses. According to the American Hospital Association, “Shortages of healthcare workers in all roles will persist well beyond the pandemic given today’s highly competitive labor market.” To help meet this need, the Cobb County School District and Wellstar Health System are introducing high school students to healthcare careers through the healthcare pathway at the Cobb Innovation Technology Academy (CITA).

CITA is an innovative Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program inside the Cobb County School District (CCSD). Wellstar Health System and Wellstar Foundation recently awarded Cobb Schools Foundation a $2-million grant to expand CITA over the next five years. The CITA program is a beacon of opportunity for students seeking hands-on learning experiences and career prospects in healthcare through district, post-secondary, and industry partnerships.

“This program seeks to inspire, educate, and nurture the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said David Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Wellstar. “We’re thrilled with the opportunity to help enhance the education of our community’s students and offer them rewarding career pathways.”

Cobb students will have direct access to healthcare professionals from Wellstar who will make their classroom experience more practical and prepare them for their real-world jobs. All CCSD students can apply for the opportunity to enroll in CITA. Once enrolled, the Cobb students will be able to:

  •  Participate in the new Wellstar Healthcare Pathway Program.
  •  Access cutting-edge equipment and technology.
  •  Engage with Wellstar clinical team members and professionals before they graduate from high school.
  •  Apply for two $2,500 college scholarships funded by Wellstar.

“The Wellstar Healthcare Pathways Program will offer students exposure to training and potential job opportunities,” said Tiffany Barney, Director, CITA. “The Cobb Schools Foundation appreciates this investment in students who will go on to have careers in healthcare. It will further enhance the quality of education we provide our students in Cobb.”

According to CITA, the Wellstar Healthcare Pathway Program represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of excellence in healthcare education. Through this collaboration, the Cobb County School District and Wellstar are working together to build a strong pipeline of skilled healthcare workers equipped to meet the evolving demands of the community.

The program is more than a financial investment in the community, CITA says; it is a commitment to providing students with career pathways and filling the community’s need for healthcare workers. By providing the latest equipment and technology, Cobb students will be better prepared to navigate challenges and innovations in the healthcare sector. Additionally, Wellstar caregivers will help bring these healthcare learnings and experiences to life for Cobb students by providing invaluable insights and mentorship throughout the program.

Investing in students who will become the future of our healthcare workforce aligns with Wellstar’s mission to deliver personalized care that considers each individual’s unique life story. Wellstar believes in a similar approach when it comes to supporting and nurturing its staff. They have created a culture that encourages personal fulfillment for employees, empowering them to pursue their specific career goals and well-being. This commitment to staff development and personal growth is extended to the community through partnerships like the Wellstar Healthcare Pathway Program.

“The Healthcare Pathway at CITA is another example of the innovative opportunities we provide Cobb students. We are thankful that Wellstar has joined our team to prepare students for success after graduation. Together, we will help transform today’s students into tomorrow’s healthcare professionals and leaders,” said Cobb Schools Board Chair Brad Wheeler.

About Wellstar and the Wellstar Foundation
Wellstar provides access to compassionate, high-quality care that meets each person’s unique health needs through its: 11 hospitals; 325+ medical office locations; 11 cancer centers; 91 rehabilitation centers; 35 imaging centers; 18 urgent care locations; 5 health parks; 3 hospice facilities, and one retirement village. As a nonprofit health system, Wellstar reinvests in preventative care and wellness programs and serves our community as one of the largest providers of uncompensated care in Georgia. To learn more, visit wellstar.org.

Through corporate and community partnerships, the Wellstar Foundation fuels innovation and action to address the vital needs of diverse communities in Georgia. As the philanthropic arm to Wellstar Health System, the Foundation is transforming healthcare by enhancing health equity, innovation and technology, behavioral health, and workforce development. Every dollar donated funds the mission and initiatives addressing the most pressing healthcare needs in Georgia. To learn more, visit wellstar.org/foundation.

About Cobb County School District
The Cobb County School District is the second-largest school system in Georgia and the 23rd-largest in the nation. It serves 106,358 students with 112 schools, including 66 elementary schools, 26 middle schools, 17 high schools, one charter school, one special education center, and one adult education center.

The District’s mission is One Team, One Goal: Student Success, and it frequently adds organizations like the Wellstar Foundation to its team to enhance educational experiences and prepare students for successful futures.

About Cobb Schools Foundation
The Cobb Schools Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Cobb County School District, with a collaborative mission to take student success to new heights. Achieving these goals takes a tremendous team that includes leadership, teachers, social workers, many other staff, and our community!

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