13 major health systems partner with high schools in $250M Bloomberg initiative

Molly Gamble (Twitter) Becker’s Hospital Review

Health systems and public schools are partnering in 10 urban and rural communities for a first-of-its-kind initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies that will graduate students directly into high-demand healthcare jobs.

The partnerships, announced Jan. 17, mark a $250 million initiative from the philanthropic organization and a new type of solution to address workforce deficits in healthcare, where an estimated 2 million jobs are currently vacant. Whether newly established or redesigned, the schools will collectively serve nearly 6,000 students at full capacity. Students will have access to specialized healthcare curriculum, including work-based learning at the partner health system and the opportunity to earn industry-valued credentials and certifications.

Every health system partner has committed to providing job opportunities for students who successfully complete the graduation requirements of their respective programs. Upon graduation, students can enter healthcare jobs with the partner health system or opt for post-secondary education.

The following health systems are the inaugural high school partners:

Mass General Brigham (Boston)

Education partner: Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (Boston Public Schools)

Atrium Health (Charlotte, N.C.)

Education partner: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Baylor Scott & White Health (Dallas)

Education partner: Uplift Education

Duke Health (Durham, N.C.)

Education partner: Durham Public Schools

Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston)

Education partner: Aldine Independent School District

HCA Healthcare TriStar, Vanderbilt Health, Ascension and National HealthCare Corporation (Nashville, Tenn.)

Education partner: Nurses Middle College

Ballad Health (Johnson City, Tenn.)

Education partner: Northeast Tennessee Public Schools (six sites)

Northwell Health (New Hyde Park, N.Y.)

Education partner: New York City Public Schools

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia)

Education partner: Mastery Schools

University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System and other state health systems and hospitals (Demopolis, Ala.)

Education partner: State of Alabama (contingent upon state funding)

Most health systems have active relationships with local high schools, but the new partnerships funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies mark significantly tighter and more structured pipelines for curriculum, training and employment.

Northwell Health’s affiliated school will be newly established in Queens, N.Y. — a collaboration that CEO Michael Dowling considers visionary. “This is a new model for education that will create a better future for thousands of students and make a lasting impact on the future of healthcare for countless more,” Mr. Dowling said.

In Boston, Mass General Brigham will build on its existing partnership with Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, a college preparatory and vocational high school within the Boston Public Schools system established in 1998.

“As healthcare providers continue to face persistent labor challenges, it is crucial that we develop innovative partnerships to respond to the challenges of today and invest in the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. Moreover, our work to dismantle generational health inequities depends on our ability to recruit, retain and support a diverse, culturally competent and highly skilled workforce,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, Mass General Brigham president and CEO.

The initiative marks Bloomberg Philanthropies’ largest investment yet toward career and technical education.

“For too long, our education system has failed to prepare students for good jobs in high-growth industries,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th mayor of New York City. “By combining classroom learning with hands-on experience, these specialized healthcare high schools will prepare students for careers with opportunities for growth and advancement. America needs more healthcare workers, and we need a stronger, larger middle-class — and this is a way to help accomplish both goals.”