Healthcare Company, Community College Creates Career Path

DaVita works with Colorado community colleges to address health staff challenges.

DENVER — Colorado healthcare employer DaVita is working with other leading healthcare employers in state and local community colleges to create equitable career paths for underserved students. did.

The Colorado Health Careers Collaborative Academy is a six-week program that introduces young adults ages 16-24 to various roles in health care. The goal is to create an avenue for students who may not otherwise have access to this type of opportunity, and to address the industry staffing challenges due to the COVID pandemic.

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DaVita’s Chief People Officer, Kenny Gardner, said: “We wanted to introduce many students to the world of healthcare, but ultimately opened the door for organizations like our own, giving them a long-term career path rather than just a job. I wanted you to walk.”

DaVita released a recent report predicting that Colorado will be short of 54,000 healthcare workers by 2026.

To address staffing challenges, DaVita is working with Centura Health, HealthONE, Community College of Denver (CCD), and Arapahoe Community College (ACC) to provide education-to-employment opportunities for underserved students. created an equitable health career path to This includes students from communities of color, first-generation college students, and LGBTQ students.

“For students who have never thought about a career in healthcare, our vision is to present it to them, inspire them, and give them the tools to join a company like DaVita,” said Gardner. and provide resources,” he said. “[Also] Getting the first job, ladders and programs, advocacy and sponsorship to help them reach their full potential. “

The program introduces students to jobs such as nursing (LPN/RN), medical assistance, medical laboratory science (CNA/blood collection), and radiology technology, and equips students with professional skills such as interviewing and resume writing. Offers. Eagle is a sophomore at Crest High School, Rita, a skill that her Qubaili says will help her earn a medical degree.

“You might want to go into nursing, surgery, or criminology. Healthcare is a whole other world, so you want to go into so many different fields,” says Kbayli. “I’m glad I learned that now, in my sophomore year of high school, before I went out into the real world and tried to get a real job.”

This collaboration aims to help more Academy students apply for higher education programs and entry-level healthcare jobs. Bri Barnes-Eldert, her ACC program manager for the program, said the goal is to diversify the workforce within Colorado’s healthcare industry.

Barnes-Eldert said: “So give your students a chance to show up in the community behind them and show others that they can be there. We can support people who look like

With this partnership, Gardner hopes the program will help underserved students find employment in the healthcare industry as part of its commitment to diversity and belonging. said.

“We thought it was important to make a difference in the world around us,” said Gardner. “But we wanted to do it in a way that we thought was unique.”

For more information, visit or the Colorado Health Careers Collaborative Academy website.

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