Emory Saint Joseph's builds health care workforce with Cristo Rey students

Jan. 13, 2015

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Mary Beth Spence
Senior Manager, Media Relations
678-843-5850
marybeth.spence@emoryhealthcare.org

Emory Healthcare's participation in a Corporate Work Study program with Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is preparing and nurturing students for future careers in health care, and two students at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital have made a difference in the organization while gaining valuable job skills and mentorship from college-educated adults.

Emory Healthcare is one of more than 40 Atlanta area corporate sponsors of the work study program during the 2014-15 school year. Freshmen students Gabrielle Wilson and Nina Dunwoody share an entry-level job at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, while Hannah Kassa and Diana Garcia job-share at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

"This is a way to reach out and partner with Cristo Rey to make positive changes and to help us be a better community partner and a better community citizen," says Craig McCoy, CEO of Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.

Cristo Rey is part of a nationwide network of Catholic college preparatory high schools that serves more than 8,000 students with limited economic means. As the only Catholic based hospital in Atlanta, Emory Saint Joseph's participation in the program is closely aligned with the hospital's mission and values, which are caring for the poor, vulnerable and those needing assistance.

According to Jeanne Landry, vice president of human resources at Emory Saint Joseph's, the hospital's commitment to Cristo Rey has turned into a successful arrangement for both the hospital and the students. "Nina and Gabby have made a positive impact at the hospital, and we want to provide them with the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as possible about health care," says Landry. "This is also a great opportunity for Emory Saint Joseph's to begin preparing students from a young age with the knowledge of what it takes to work in a health care environment. We believe we will contribute to building the future workforce of health care by providing these students an opportunity to see first hand the various job opportunities available to them."

Some of the students' duties include transporting patients, delivering and stocking supplies around the hospital, working with the communications team and providing comfort measures for patients.

The Corporate Work Study Program is a core component of the Cristo Rey Network model, allowing each student to work five full days a month in a corporate work setting, in addition to carrying a full load of classes. Earnings from the program pay for the majority of students' education costs.