Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Geriatric Career Development Program at Jewish Home Lifecare - 2014 Program of Distinction Designee

PHOTO: Jewish Home Lifecare
In part 3 of our series on the 2014 Program of Distinction Designees, we highlight Geriatric Career Development Program at Jewish Home Lifecare, a LeadingAge member based in New York City.  (Read parts one and two.)

In addition to helping at-risk New York City high school students climb career ladders in health care, Geriatric Career Development (GCD) program enjoys the bragging rights and national legitimacy that comes from joining an elite group of programs celebrated for their effectiveness.


Since 2006, GCD served as a pipeline to develop the next generation of diverse, culturally competent leaders in long-term care.

The program serves 200 at-risk high school students (10th-12th grade) annually through a comprehensive three-year curriculum that encompasses rigorous academic tutoring and college preparation; extensive workforce training and healthcare certification; professional mentorship; intergenerational learning; family involvement; and life-skills counseling.  

PHOTO: Jewish Home Lifecare
The students spend three years working directly with the elders at Jewish Home Lifecare in a variety of capacities.

Students host social group events for the elders, select an elder mentor for specialized one-on-one activities and assist the nursing staff in a clinical role focusing on person directed care.

Students leave the program college-bound and with a certification in one or more allied health occupations (Medical Billing and Coding, Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, CPR, Electrocardiography Technician, and Phlebotomy Technician).

The Program continues to mentor and track its growing alumni chapter (now 313 young adults) by providing support services related to college persistence, employment opportunities and life skills.

A program object is that GCD graduates attend college or gain employment in the health care system. Mohammed Abdullah, a recent grad, did both. He’s currently a certified nursing assistant at Jewish Home Lifecare’s Bronx campus and attends Jersey Collage School of Nursing.

“I didn’t think a program like GCD would benefit me,” said Abdullah, who remembered his high school days when he walked the halls with his friends, showed up to class late and talked back to his teachers.

“But then when I started,” he concluded, “I became more responsible.”

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