Issue 4 - Spring 2007 Thinking health careers? Think Tri-C
Health Careers@
Cuyahoga Community College
In this issue

Events Calendar

Wednesday, March 14th
Health Careers
Discovery Night

West Campus
5pm - 7pm

Tuesday, April 17th
Health Careers
Discovery Night

East Campus
Second Floor
5pm - 7pm

Saturday, April 21st
Health Careers Spring Expo
Metro Campus
Health Careers &
Sciences Building
9am - 1pm

Saturday, April 21st
Give Kids a Smile
Metro Campus
Health Careers &
Sciences Building
Dental Hygiene Clinic
9am - 1pm

Saturday, April 28th
Women in Science Expo
West Campus
9am - 1pm

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I am happy to present our Spring 2007 Health Careers @ Cuyahoga Community College newsletter. We are sending this newsletter to keep you - the community, our staff, and students - up- to-date on what we at Tri-C are doing to expand our health career programs. Please feel free to contact me at with your suggestions or questions.

Raising public awareness and interest in nursing and health careers is a high priority at Cuyahoga Community College. The general population is unaware that a public health crisis – the shortage of nurses and allied health workers – risks their availability and access to quality healthcare. In response, the Healthcare Education Initiatives (HEI) division of Tri-C is committed to recruiting and retaining students interested in health careers. HEI is also collaborating with Tri-C’s Center for Health Industry Solutions to meet the professional continuing education needs of the areas incumbent healthcare professionals.

Several factors contribute to the healthcare workforce shortage. An aging population and longer life expectancy have already increased the demand for nursing and allied health professionals. In the next 10 – 15 years, millions of baby boomers will be reaching an age that will require additional health care. A significant number of healthcare workers will soon be retiring and, consequently, increasing an already high vacancy and turnover rate in healthcare institutions. Additionally, the post baby-boom populace is not large enough to replace these workers and satisfy the projected need for future healthcare professionals.

Northeast Ohio is fortunate to have an abundance of world-renowned health centers and hospitals. Furthermore, Tri-C is particularly aware that the healthcare industry accounts for more than half of the greater Cleveland area workforce. As a result, allied health and nursing professionals are in-high demand. While other professionals fear losing their jobs to downsizing or outsourcing, healthcare positions will remain local, the demand will continue to grow, and healthcare workers will be vital to the community.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Occupational Employment Projections Report, 2004 2014 provides detailed projections for Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina Counties. Based on percentage of vacancies through 2004, several of the most in-demand health careers are:

  • Medical Assistants - 54.6%
  • Occupational Therapist Assistants - 47.6%
  • Physical Therapist Assistants - 44.9%
  • Home Health Aides - 43.6%
  • Dental Assistants - 41%
  • Emergency Medical Technicians & Paramedics - 35%
  • Medical Records & Health Information Technicians - 31.9%
  • Cardiovascular Technologists & Technicians - 31.9%
  • Respiratory Therapists - 30.6%
  • Pharmacy Technicians - 28.1%

    For complete details on workforce projections, visit


    Occupational Employment Projections Report, 2004 - 2014

    Cuyahoga Community College is the largest provider of healthcare education in Ohio. Tri-C offers over thirty degree and certificate allied health and nursing programs along with continuing education programs that fit the needs of the incumbent healthcare workforce. As a national leader in healthcare education, the College uses state-of-the-art technology and clinical simulations in its academic programming. The College offers hands-on learning in on-site clinics in modern laboratories, and clinical experience in local medical facilities and internationally recognized healthcare centers. Tri-C provides future and incumbent healthcare workforce with programs to meet individual interests and needs

    The field of healthcare is one that demands a highly skilled workforce trained to perform innovative techniques in all areas of care giving. New developments in the medical field call for workers capable of operating and supporting new technical equipment used for diagnosis and treatment. Cuyahoga Community College’s health career programs prepare students to meet the growing demand of the public for quality medical care. Tri-C’s health career programs provide the community and its residents with a highly trained and educated workforce prepared to meet the demands of a constantly changing healthcare system.

    Patricia M., Gray, Ph.D.
    VP, Healthcare Education Initiatives

  • Healthcare Careers Initiatives
    HCI Logo and Tag

    In January, Healthcare Careers Initiative (HCI), formerly known as "The Employer Driven Approaches for Alleviating Healthcare Worker Shortages Initiative" and, supported by a grant from the Department of Labor, debuted a new name, identity, logo, and web site.

    Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Municipal School District, and the Employment Connection have partnered on this initiative to advocate for careers in healthcare. HCI offers information and support to those interested in a healthcare career. Programs will be offered to grade school, high school and college students, as well as adults. The program also allows employees of the Cleveland Clinic to study nursing or radiography on site or at their place of employment.

    Katherine Ratka, Healthcare Education Initiatives, Cuyahoga Community College

    Tri-C graduates first on-site nursing class at Parma Hospital
    Tri-C Graduation at Parma Hospital

    Cuyahoga Community College, in partnership with Parma Community General Hospital, proudly announces the December graduation of the first class of 19 registered nurses of the Tri-C Nursing Program onsite at Parma Hospital.

    The Tri-C nursing program, taught at Parma Hospital, is a two-year RN program available to hospital employees. Once accepted, the hospital pays student' tuition, fees and cost of supplies, estimated at over $8,000. In return, the employee/student commits to working at the hospital for two years after graduation. Classroom, lab, and clinical experiences are provided at Parma Hospital.

    The partnership between PCGH and Tri-C has been beneficial for both organizations. Parma Hospital will have a steady source of RNs to help compensate for the growing shortage of nurses; and Tri-C can expand its program without having to increase classroom and lab space, as well as off-site clinical locations.

    The Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation contributed funds for the nursing students' tuition and materials. The Foundation also funded the remodeling of the hospital's Health Education Center including renovated classrooms and clinical labs.

    After passing the state nursing exam, graduates of the program will work as registered nurses in various areas of the hospital.

    Katherine Ratka, Healthcare Education Initiatives, Cuyahoga Community College


    Background checks required for Tri-C Health Career applicants and students

    Tri-C has instituted a policy requiring applicants for its Allied Health and Nursing programs to submit to background checks. The implementation of background checks is in response to the growing trend of clinical affiliates requiring clear background checks prior to accepting students for on- site clinical experiences.

    The College has contracted with an outside agency to conduct the background checks. Applicants with negative results may continue in their application process.

    Katherine Ratka, Healthcare Education Initiatives, Cuyahoga Community College

    Center for Health Industry Solutions customizes training for hospital employees

    The Center for Health Industry Solutions (CHIS) provides "solutions" for the health care workforce at Cleveland area Hospitals. To meet the professional continuing education needs of Certified Professional Coders at Cleveland Clinic, CHIS creates customized seminars based specifically on feedback from the Cleveland Clinic Professional Coding Department.

    Realistic case scenarios are provided based on actual surgical cases. These cases are coded for diagnoses and procedures and presented in a workshop setting to Clinic employees.

    Effort is given to offer a program that is directed toward the Clinic's identified learning needs.

    CHIS Instructor Eleanor Joseph, MPA, RHIA holds seven professional certifications and brings a unique blending of advanced knowledge to prepare the workshops, including hospital health information management, professional coding, quality and compliance.

    Gail Pfeiffer, RHIA, CCS-P, Director of Professional Coding from Cleveland Clinic comments, "It has been extremely helpful to have an experienced instructor provide a hands-on coding experience using realistic cases in class and receive immediate feedback. CHIS has been a great partner in providing continuing education by qualified instructors to our coding and reimbursement staff."

    Similar programs have been offered such as an entry level "Medical Terminology Exploratory Course" and a “Customer Service Workshop for Health Care,” both for employees a Parma Community General Hospital.

    CHIS provides an array of classes in medical coding, billing and related health care courses from entry level to advanced. Topics are changed each term to bring relevant seminars to the community.

    Alison Arkin, Center for Health Industry Solutions, Workforce and Economic Development Division, Cuyahoga Community College 216/987-3071

    Center for Health Industry Solutions - Patient Access Specialist, Student success story

    When American Greetings began making cutbacks several years ago, employee Lorraine Lash was concerned that her job might be impacted. She began looking for another job to supplement her income. Her search led to Tri-C's Workforce and Economic Development Division (WEDD), where she accepted a temporary position in the Center for Applied Gerontology. While there, she took the Activities Director training course offered in the Center. As a result, she landed a job at a long-term care facility as an Activities Director.

    Last spring, Ms. Lash returned to WEDD and took the Patient Access Specialist (PAS) evening program offered in the Center for Health Industry Solutions. She completed the PAS class, took the CHAA (Certified Healthcare Access Associate) exam, and passed with a high score. Unfortunately , Ms. Lash was diagnosed with a serious illness and could not accept a job offer from MetroHealth. Instead, she began treatments for her illness.

    A serious health issue did not impede Ms. Lash's determination. She is now working as a Customer Service/Ordering Processing Representative at Health Aid of Ohio in Cleveland. She shared that she believes that the Patient Access Specialist course and her CHAA certification helped her secure this job.

    Ms. Lash states, "In today's world, employers want to see proof of your skills, such as a professional certification. I'm convinced that the Patient Access S specialist program and my Certified Healthcare Access Associate certification landed me my new position!"

    Cheryl Quigley, Director, Center for health Industry Solutions


    Western Campus construction continues
    West Campus Health Technologies Center Construction

    Construction of Cuyahoga Community College's Western Campus Health Technologies Center (HTC) continues throughout the winter months and remains on schedule to reach the completion date of August 2007.

    The new Center will allow for an annual enrollment increase of approximately 100 students in nursing and health careers. HTC will house the Health Career programs, the Human Patient Simulator lab, and four additional classrooms.

    The new Center makes available state-of-the-art equipment for healthcare training and education for Western Campus programs. West Campus Health Career Programs are Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Electroneurodiagnostics, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, Physician Assistant, Polysomnography, Radiography, Respiratory Care, and Nursing.

    Katherine Ratka, Healthcare Education Initiatives, Cuyahoga Community College

    Bridging Pathways to Health Careers

    Cuyahoga Community College, along with Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University, will host a one-day conference for 100 select local high school students who are interested in health professions. The goal of this program is to increase the student's awareness of careers in healthcare. The students will hear from motivational speakers, learn about health career skills, and receive information to encourage interest in careers in healthcare.

    In the morning, students will complete the Career Discovery Inventory. The inventory (software program) will assess individual skills and values relative to health related careers. A motivational speaker will address the students after lunch. Then, students will break into smaller groups for health simulation rotations of programs offered at the Metro Campus.

    The Friday, April 20th event will be held at the Metro Campus in the health Careers & Sciences Building

    Bridging Pathways to Health Careers is a collaborative project between Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State University, Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. (NEON), Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) and Cleveland Clinic Health System East.

    Barbara Mikuszewski, Associate Dean, Health Careers & Sciences, Metropolitan Campus, Cuyahoga Community College


    phone: 216-987-3472
    Cuyahoga Community College