HCN News & Notes

Baystate Health Honors Graduates of Workforce Pipeline

SPRINGFIELD — On Oct. 4, Baystate Health honored recent graduates of its Workforce Pipeline Program, which was developed to help new and incumbent employees on their paths to securing some of the most in-demand jobs in healthcare.

Nearly 20 graduates completed training programs in areas such as medical assistant, pharmacy technician, patient-care technician, and others. Baystate Health’s top leadership was in attendance, supporting both the program and the graduates.

“It became very difficult after the pandemic. People either just left the healthcare field or retired, and there were not that many people to fill their places,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, CEO of Baystate Health. “I’m just so grateful that our Human Resources department didn’t just sit back and let it happen. In particular, Jason Pacheco and his team really stepped up and created some novel approaches and novel programs.”

Chief Human Resource Officer Kristin Morales-Lemieux, noted how grateful Baystate Health is to have employees willing and eager to grow with the organization.

“Our goal is to build a workplace of choice where people will want to come and make a career with us,” she said. “And I want to thank you for coming and investing in yourselves and the organization by choosing to grow your careers with us. I think often how lucky we are to have jobs where the purpose is to take care of the people who live in the community with us and the privilege that goes along with that.”

One of the graduates, Zachary Makol, came to Baystate about three years ago before starting the operations associate/cardiac monitor technician apprenticeship. He grew up locally and spent time working for is family’s business, but always knew he wanted to do something in healthcare. He has undergone 150 hours of educational instruction and 2,000 hours of work (on-the-job training) at Baystate Health.

“This apprenticeship has opened more doors for me than I could have ever imagined, and I am willing to do anything to help the program grow and include more people,” he said. “It has been empowering and life-changing for me, and I want to make sure others have the same opportunity.”

Another graduate, Dawna Wood, has worked at Baystate Medical Center since 2011, when she started in environmental services. She saw a poster advertising the training program to become a pharmacy tech and applied to the program. She was accepted and passed her exam in 2021. She said she appreciates the feeling of moving forward in her career and the job security her training offers her, and encourages others to take advantage of similar opportunities. “If you want to move up, now is a perfect time to do it.”

On Thursday, Oct. 26, Baystate Health will host an event to expose high-school students (grades 11 and 12), undergraduates, workforce-program participants, and current employees interested in a career change to specific careers and career pathways in health care. Registration is required; click here to register.