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Sponsorships help train caregivers of the future

A special feature from Medrice Coluccio, Chief Executive, Southwest Washington

NursingStudentsIn Southwest Washington, Providence helps sponsor dozens of programs which improve overall community health (see a detailed list at the end of this article). Our Community Ministry Boards use the results of the Community Needs Assessment to help us target areas where the greatest need occurs.

A few examples of programs we sponsor are:

  • CHOICE Regional Health Network
  • American Red Cross
  • American Cancer Society
  • United Way of Thurston and Lewis counties

One particular way we focus our sponsorships is to cultivate and train future healthcare providers.

Susan Meenk, VP of Human Resources for SWR, volunteers on the board of the Hands On Children’s Museum (HOCM).Providence is a sponsor of the organization.

“The HOCM stimulates curiosity, creativity and learning,” Meenk said. “Sponsorship of this organization is a prime opportunity for Providence to help foster early hands on science education.”

Meenk also coordinates the PSPH Youth Council. For eight years, the council has worked with a dozen high school students, who spend 36 hours during the summer focusing on learning about different health care careers. The students then put together presentations on the careers and report back to their schoolmates.

“This helps manage the requests for job exposure from high school students to the hospital and helps us get the word out about the multitude of health care careers and opportunities,” Meenk said. “We’ve been able to reach thousands of students because part of the criteria for the Youth Council is they must develop presentations and deliver them back to their fellow students.”

Another step in training future health care providers is through internships. Providence spend more than $1.7 million in 2013, providing a total of nearly 40,000 hours working with interns to prepare them for health care careers.

The culmination of these efforts is the sponsorship of our residency program. Last year alone, $3.25 million was provided in part to help in the training support of 19 family medicine physicians. Coordinated by Dr. Devin Sawyer, in 20 years the program has served as a training program for more than 125 family physicians, many of whom have chosen to stay in the local community.

Other organizations Providence helps sponsor include, but are not limited to:

  • Union Gospel Mission
  • Behavioral Health Resources
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Project Access
  • Food banks
  • YMCA Run
  • Senior Games
  • Community Crisis Center
  • Safe Place
  • Thurston Thrives
  • Community Youth Services
  • American Cancer Society
  • National Association for Mentally Ill
  • Alzheimer’s Walk
  • Suicide Prevention (Darkness to Light Program)
  • Poison Prevention Center
  • South Sound Community College
  • St. Martin’s University
  • Autism Society of America