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Lee Discusses MoHealthWins Grant During Workforce Development Roundtable

June 29, 2012

Dianne Lee with Jill Biden  
Dianne Lee, left, with Second Lady Jill Biden during Biden's stop at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley for her "Community College to Career" Tour.
















Dianne Lee, professor and chair of the information systems/health information technology department at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, recently participated in a roundtable discussion about targeted workforce development with panelists that included Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States and community college teacher, and Assistant Labor Secretary Jane Oates.

The event took place earlier this spring at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. The visit was part of Biden’s “Community College to Career” Tour, which focuses on community colleges’ role in developing and revising curriculum to meet emerging regional business needs and also celebrates successful community college-business partnerships.

Biden and Oates visited the MCC-Penn Valley’s Health Science Institute, where they spoke with representatives from Missouri community colleges and local employers. The conversation focused on the Missouri Health Workforce Innovation Networks (MoHealthWINs), a Department of Labor grant-funded program to serve Trade Act participants as well as veterans, unemployed and underemployed individuals, and low-skilled persons in Missouri in health services/health sciences career pathways throughout the state. Missouri’s 12 community colleges and one state technical college are participating in MoHealthWINs.

As part of the MoHealthWINs grant, St. Louis Community College will receive funds to develop new educational pathways that accelerate the progression and improve the retention of low-skilled adults for careers in IT in support of health care, including health informatics – jobs related to electronic health records conversion – and therapeutic services such as patient care technicians, certified nursing assistants and registered nurses.

During the panel discussion, Lee provided examples of STLCC’s successful track record delivering health and IT programs and the opportunity, through MoHealthWINs, to leverage that success.

“Under the grant, St. Louis Community College is creating enhanced programs focused on meeting the needs of regional employers and low-skilled and unemployed workers,” Lee said. “The MoHealthWINs curriculum will incorporate modular design, a digital literacy for Healthcare Workers “on-ramp” and contextualized academic skills. In addition, programs are designed to stack within pathways and will map to industry-standard certifications.”

Biden, who has been a community college teacher for 18 years, began her national “Community College to Career” tour earlier this year. In fall 2010, Biden hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Barack Obama, and she continues to work on this outreach on behalf of the administration – frequently visiting campuses, meeting with students, teachers and industry representatives around the country. In February 2012, President Obama announced a new $8 billion Community College to Career Fund, co-administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Education, to forge new partnerships between community colleges and businesses to train two million workers with skills that will lead directly to jobs.