Late last year, Pima Medical Institute and Banner Health entered into a partnership aimed at assisting current employees to advance their careers within the Banner Health system. The Career Pathways program provides the opportunity for eligible employees to enroll in one of several certificate programs offered by Pima Medical, with costs sponsored completely by Banner Health.
For two current Banner Health employees this opportunity was one they could not pass up. Both are in the Sterile Processing certificate program at the Phoenix campus and say it is already making a difference for them.
Areyona Lewis works in the sanitation unit at Banner Health and says the sterile processing program seemed like a natural fit for her. She said, “I started at Banner to get my life on track and once I started seeing and interacting with the patients, I knew I wanted to help people even more.”
Lewis’ classmate, Monica Denihan currently works in the food service department at Banner Health, delivering meals to patients. She said she has always loved helping people and this opportunity is a chance for her to advance her career. According to Denihan, “Sterile processing is often called the heart of the hospital because of how important it is, and I know this program will not only help me feel better about myself, it will also allow me to help even more people.”
More than just career advancement, both students say they are grateful that they work for a company willing to invest in their staff. Lewis said, “Opportunities like this are once-in-a-lifetime, and I want to make sure I take full advantage of the opportunity.”
Denihan added, “It’s a great opportunity to advance your career without having the stress of worrying about the cost.”
For any Banner Health employees considering the Career Pathways program, Denihan says, “Now is the time to get off the fence and do something good for yourself.”
“Partnerships like this one are extremely valuable in today’s world,” said Andy Andress, Chief Executive Officer, Pima Medical Institute. “As the healthcare industry works to fill important coverage gaps, offering career training opportunities to current employees can be a win-win for both the employee and the healthcare provider. Pima Medical and schools like ours that are dedicated to providing quality medical career education are a natural fit. We are proud to work with Banner Health and many other healthcare providers to help educate and train their employees to take on these much needed roles.”
Pima Medical is one of several partners involved in the Career Pathways program.
“People are at the center of all we do and by investing in our team members’ futures, Banner will continue to be a great place to work,” said Julie Ann Alvarado-Dubek, Banner Health executive vice president and chief Human Resources officer. “Our Career Pathways program provides a meaningful journey where our team members can achieve their aspirations while optimizing our workforce.”
Thanks to a $1.2 million dollar grant secured by the Banner Health Foundation, eligible Banner Health employees in the metro-Phoenix area may enroll in the medical assistant, sterile processing technician or nursing assistant/nurse aide certificate programs. The medical assistant program is available at all valley-area campuses, while the sterile processing technician program is only available at the Phoenix campus. Nurse assistant/nurse aide is available at the East Valley/Gilbert location.