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ISU Workforce Training offers CNA course onsite at Fort Hall

Posted July 31, 2008

After months of work, the dream of offering an onsite Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) course to residents of Fort Hall has become a reality. Through an extensive collaboration between Partners for Prosperity, Shoshone-Bannock tribal entities, and ISU Workforce Training, students can now complete more than half of their CNA training at the Human Resource Development Center in Fort Hall. Learning laboratory practices and clinicals will occur in Pocatello.

Fort Hall and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have larger-than-normal challenges in meeting local healthcare needs due to the lack of adequately trained community members and a growing population. This collaboration was created as an effort to “grow their own” health care providers while attempting to reduce unemployment and poverty. Because CNA training is a gateway to many other health-related training programs, it is the natural choice to offer a CNA training program first. If successful, there is potential for other training programs to be offered onsite in Fort Hall.

Meetings began in March between ISU Workforce Training, Partners for Prosperity (P4P), Fort Hall Community Health Nursing (CHN), Fort Hall Education, Employment & Training/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (EET/TANF) department, and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO). Several large and small group meetings were held to plan for anything possible that would promote or be a barrier to student success.

Potential students were invited to an orientation session on June 3 to discuss the class and allow streamlining of the application process.  After an extensive selection process, class started on June 24.  

“I am amazed at the effort and heart behind preparing for this class. From Donner Ellsworth’s (EET/TANF) genuine concern that we identify all barriers to success, to Judy McClanahan’s (P4P) numerous humble generosities, to Norma Wadsworth’s (CHN) seeking additional funding for clinical supplies, gas, and daycare, to community members offering free tutoring - all involved are going beyond the requirements of the job,” said Cheryl DenHartog, Workforce Training Health Programs Manager and instructor of the course.

These efforts do not go unrecognized by the students. “I don’t think I have seen the level of group-wide hard work that I have seen in this class. All students come to class eager to learn and ready to do what it takes to succeed.  Comments reflect that they appreciate the confidence all parties have in them and gratitude for funding provided,” said DenHartog.

“Partners for Prosperity is proud to be part of this pilot project on the Fort Hall Reservation, and is extremely proud of the students who are putting forth the biggest effort. They are bright, intelligent women who are dedicated to taking a step up in their careers,” said Judy McClanahan, Partners for Prosperity, Adult Education & Training Working Group facilitator. “Cheryl DenHartog is an amazing instructor who instills the desire to succeed in each of her students.”

There are currently 18 students in the class. Students are expected to finish the class in late August.

“We are very excited about this partnership,” said Joseph Fleishman Director of Workforce Training at ISU.  “We are committed to providing quality educational programming that will enable our students to enjoy a higher quality of life.  We look forward to offering several new educational programs on site at Fort Hall in the immediate future.”