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New CNA program available at no cost to students

(SLIDELL, La.) – Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Ochsner Health have partnered with Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC) and Tri-Parish Works to offer students a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program at no cost to them. The first CNA class of 15 students graduated on April 19.

Students first interview with Tri-Parish Works, the workforce development arm of the Louisiana Workforce Commission that serves St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes. Eligible candidates then meet with SMH representatives to be screened for the CNA program. SMH and Ochsner require candidates to complete background checks, drug screenings and CPR certification, provided by SMH at no charge. Through a federal grant, Tri-Parish Works provides funding for tuition and supportive services to qualified candidates. Students who complete the course will graduate with a CNA certificate.

“It’s a win-win-win for Slidell Memorial, Ochsner, the students and our community,” said SMH and Ochsner Medical Center – Northshore Chief Executive Officer Sandy Badinger. “Each of our partners has really understood the needs of our hospital in developing a workforce who can meet the healthcare needs in our area. Our goal is to not only set up students in our community for success, but it’s also to help build a resource pool here in Slidell so that we can offer the best, highest-quality care for our patients.”

Last October, SMH and Ochsner identified a critical need for CNAs, a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the workforce. After reaching out to NTCC, who then brought in Tri-Parish Works, this collaborative program launched within 15 weeks.

“The students have worked very hard to learn the skills and earn the certification required to be an essential healthcare employee and fill the Nurse Assistant employment gaps at SMH and Ochsner – Northshore,” said NTCC Director of Workforce Training and Development Bridget B. LaBorde. “We are very proud of the partnership with them and the collaborative efforts made by all of us, NTCC, SMH, Ochsner and Tri-Parish Works.”

“Tri-Parish Works is honored to assist SMH and Ochsner in obtaining quality, trained employees through our federal funding of their CNA Customized Training initiative in partnership with NTCC. We greatly value and appreciate their commitment to the training of their workforce,” said Melissa B. Kirsch, Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board at Tri-Parish Works.

For more information on this customized CNA/Phlebotomy program, please contact Tri-Parish Works at (985) 646-3940.