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Home > News Room > Graduates of innovative training program begin work at Schoellkopf Health C

Graduates of innovative training program begin work at Schoellkopf Health Center

Eleven Niagara County residents have been approved by the state Department of Health to begin work as certified nursing assistants at Schoellkopf Health Center after completing an innovative training program conducted by the Niagara Falls Housing Authority State University of New York ATTAIN Lab and Orleans-Niagara BOCES.

The training, held for the first time this summer, offered free preparatory training to prospective CNAs through a two-part curriculum that taught both basic job skills and the clinical skills needed to pass a state competency exam. 

Its first graduates will begin work this month.  Schoellkopf Health Center Administrator Thomas LoStracco said their hiring addresses a significant need.

“Certified nursing assistants are the unsung heroes of long-term nursing care,” LoStracco. “The high-quality care and personal attention they provide are indispensable to our residents’ health and well-being.”

Phase I of the program focused on basic job skills and was conducted by the ATTAIN Lab.  Participants who successfully completed it received a cash bonus and qualified to earn an hourly wage during Phase II.  The second phase of their training, which was conducted by nursing instructors from Orleans-Niagara BOCES training, covered clinical and patient care skills, safety, recordkeeping and responding to emergencies.

ATTAIN Lab Case Manager Julianne Vitagliano-Galie said the new training program has proven to be extremely beneficial to those who participated in it.

“Besides providing them with jobs and helping them become self-sufficient, this collaborative effort has given our graduates the foundational building blocks for a successful healthcare career,” Vitagliano-Galie said. 

Program graduates hired at Schoellkopf are:

Niagara Falls: Erica Carr, Corine D'Antonoli, Yvonne Davis, Kandace Dennis, Erica Guy, Rosalyn Harris, Tanika Knighton, Andrea Lynn Perry and Danielle Strope.
Lockport: Ashford Hartunian and Katherine Sechler.

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