Health Aide Program Graduates 13

HOLYOKE — The Nurse Aide/Home Health Aide Program operated by Training Resources of America Inc. (TRA) graduated 13 area students last month.

The graduates are Iveliz Alvarado, Jeolitha Campbell, Shawntay Cruz, Judy Edwards, Knisha Haynes, Erica Hernandez, Sara Herra, Marie-Ange LaRoche, Daisy Lopez, Cheryl Padmore, Keila Santiago, Cawanna Newson-Sheppard, and Sandra Vila.

The program provides a combination of Massachusetts state-certified nurse aide, CPR, and home health aide training to residents of Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and surrounding towns, enabling them to learn new skills, develop self-confidence, and successfully transition into the workplace.

It also provides a pool of qualified applicants to meet the needs of local area nursing homes and medical facilities to hire trained nursing assistants and home health aides.

The program is a collaborative venture between the Holyoke Office of Training Resources of America and Wingate Healthcare in West Springfield. The nursing home provides classroom space and equipment and serves as the host for the clinical training component. TRA-Holyoke manages the program and provides outreach and recruitment services, teaching staff, program curriculum, and support services.

According to Lisa Welcome, TRA’s statewide program director, “collaboration with Wingate at West Springfield is key to the success of the program. By training in an actual nursing home, participants get a real-world understanding of the career they are pursuing.”

Participants attending the two-month program receive intensive classroom, lab, clinical and work readiness training, as well as job placement assistance. In order to graduate, students must successfully pass the Massachusetts CNA exam.

“We are very proud of our current participants and their accomplishments in these eight short weeks,” said Desiree Leclair, TRA’s Western Mass. regional manager. TRA expects to place graduates at Wingate and other area nursing homes.

The program, approved by the Mass. departments of Public Health and Elementary and Secondary Education, is funded by the Department of Transitional Assistance through the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. Since its inception in 1994, TRA has graduated more than 480 students.

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