Page 27 - Scene Magazine April 2022 47-04
P. 27

  Local Interest
BY THOMAS J. UNGER
President CEO, HomeCare Transitions, Inc.
   HomeCare Transitions Inc. of Battle Creek has announced the first of its kind educational program for in-home entry level care givers. Working collaboratively, and in cooperation with CareWell Services Southwest and through a grant funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, an apprenticeship training program for Direct Care Workers, also known as Personal Care Assistants (PCA’s) was developed and im- plemented in Battle Creek.
This program was developed with the following five key tenets:
1. Whereas a Certified Nurse Assistant
dignity and financial resources.”
“A need for well-trained caregivers has
CareWell Services Southwest and the State of Michigan recognized the need for improved training for Direct Care Workers who provide essential services for our most vulnerable senior population. This care
is typically provided under the Medicaid Waiver Program that supports individualized senior care in the home environment instead of being placed in an institutional setting.
3. PCA’s do not currently require any spe- cific training leading to certification.
4. The effective minimum wage is $15 per
Initial conversations regarding the po- tential vision for a comprehensive program ensued with Karla Fales, former CEO,
and Paulette Porter, Chief Program Offi-
cer, of CareWell Services Southwest and Co-Founders of HomeCare Transitions, Inc.; Thomas J. Unger, MSW, ACSW and Patricia D. Slayton, RN, MSN.
• “I am very thankful for this training; it will enhance my capability as a PCA”
Mr. Unger shared the vision with business associate James McKernan, BSN, MBA who immediately showed interest in the project. McKernan’s resume’ includes a recent retirement as Bronson Battle Creek Hospital’s COO, with extensive experience in process improvement and previous nurs- ing curriculum development and implemen- tation. Due to his interest in the program’s merit, Jim was ‘drafted’ to mold and teach the training program.
Thom Unger added, “I agree with our graduates! Our goal has always been to, “Care for the people who care for the peo- ple. This program achieves that goal.”
PCA Apprentice Certification Program Launches
(CNA), specializes in institutional services, Direct Care Workers (PCA) provide the bulk of care to the elderly in their home.
only become greater in recent times,” said Pat Slayton. “I’ve always appreciated our team of caregivers and want to give them every possible tool of support. This appren- ticeship program offers tools of education while boosting the rate of pay for the good work and caring hearts our caregivers have.”
2. Current state wide education and training are not standardized, adequate, or home care setting focused.
According to Jim McKernan the program is, “Off to a great start with eight new grad- uates, and they couldn’t agree more!” The recent graduates rated the material as highly important and relevant to their jobs, well thought out, and professionally presented.
hour. Medicaid waiver reimbursement only supports and average of $10-$11 per hour, depending on participation status.
Comments from graduates include:
5. Recruitment and retention are difficult due to financial disincentives from com- munity wide wage pressure and this con- tributes to ongoing issues with employee job satisfaction and retention.
• “This class was very valuable for my development as a PCA.”
This hands-on, high touch program includes classroom training, fieldwork training, and oversight, with competency checks and return demonstrations on all key PCA skills. Registered Nurses also validate attendees’ knowledge and skills in the home care setting.
• “It all came together for me.”
• “Presentations were humorous, serious,
“The common goal that we’ve always had with CareWell Services is to provide
the best care and services possible to our clients, granting them the ability to thrive in their own home environment.” Unger added, “It’s been especially important during the pandemic that we do our part to protect and shield our vulnerable, aging population from unnecessary exposure. By keeping them safe in their own home, we can preserve their
HomeCare Transitions cares for a range of client needs throughout Southwest Michi- gan. In addition to the main office located in Battle Creek, HCT has offices in St. Joseph and Kalamazoo.
and very informative.”
HomeCare Transition is looking for fu- ture graduates. If you or someone you know is looking to get paid for a great education followed by a rewarding career, please call HomeCare Transitions at (269) 883-6002.
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