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Priming the pump – Open Campus

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Welcome back. This week’s issue looks at Futuro Health in California and micro-internships in Kansas, as well as steep enrollment dips and huge federal funding plans.

No Single Solution
Demand is surging for allied health care workers, including medical assistants, radiologic technologists, and physical therapist assistants. The pandemic has accelerated that demand, while also adding digital elements to both the jobs and the training in certain entry-level health care fields.

Yet running an allied health program with good outcomes and a viable business model isn’t easy. And several for-profit colleges with large medical assistant programs either collapsed or shrunk during the last decade.

The new Futuro Health is an unusual model worth watching, according to a wide range of observers. It’s also a complex solution to an enormous societal challenge, like most of the programs featured in this newsletter.

Kaiser Permanente and the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) kicked in $130 million to create the nonprofit training hub, which launched just before the pandemic hit.

The approach is novel in that it seeks to bridge the education-to-work gap by supporting students with career exploration and coaching, education financing, and targeted education-to-work pathways to credentials and licensure—while making sure credentials can stack up to a college degree. And Futuro’s role is more convener than provider, as it brings together a wide collection of partners.

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