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5 Graduate from Mercy Health’s School at Work

5 Graduate from Mercy Health’s School at Work


Contact: Maraline Kubik
Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley (330) 729.3805

Feb. 27, 2019 (YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio) – Five employees at Mercy Health Youngstown St. Elizabeth Hospital recently celebrated completion of a six-month School-at-Work program that prepared them to continue their educations and advance in their careers.

Rosalind Blakely, Celina Christian, Emily Cross, Bernadette McRae-Elliott and Bonnie Strong are the fifth class to complete the program since it was introduced in 2013.

Funded by Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley, School at Work provides Mercy Health employees and contract employees working in entry-level positions the opportunity to advance to better-paying jobs through education. School at Work requires participants to commit to taking part in two hours of classroom instruction and completing two hours of homework each week.

Classes are held onsite and cover life-management skills, communication in the workplace, principles of patient satisfaction and safety, grammar, reading, writing, math and medical terminology. “Holding class in the workplace is very convenient for students, who attend before or after their work shifts,” says Georgette Peters, School at Work facilitator, “and topics covered not only prepare them for college or technical school, but help them perform better and advance in their current positions.”

“This program really is a win-win for everybody,” observes Paul Homick, president, Mercy Health Foundation. “It offers employees working in entry-level positions nurse aides, food service, transportation and environmental services workers an opportunity to prepare themselves for additional education so that they can earn a certification or degree that will enable them to advance into better-paying positions. And, it enables Mercy Health to fill vacancies from within. Our employees really are our most important resource and we want to help them advance and grow in their careers, not only because it is good for them and their families, but because it is good for our patients, our patients’ families and our community overall.”

All five School-at-Work graduates will pursue additional education. Among the professions they aspire to are registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified medical assistant, state tested nurse aide and phlebotomist.

Since the program began, 32 employees have graduated from the School-at-Work program. All but one continue to work at Mercy Health and most are continuing their educations.

For information on how to support this program or other causes that seek to improve the health and well-being of Mahoning Valley residents, call Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley at 330-729-1180.


About Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley and Mercy Health Youngstown

Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley is the philanthropic arm of Mercy Health Youngstown, an integrated health system in the Mahoning Valley. It encompasses the Youngstown/Warren metropolitan area Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio. It is part of Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the five largest Catholic health systems in the United States. Mercy Health Youngstown provides a full spectrum of healthcare services: acute inpatient and trauma, outpatient and ambulatory, rehabilitation, behavioral, emergency and urgent care, primary care physicians in patient-centered medical homes, specialist physician care, home health, home medical equipment, long-term care and hospice care. Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley supports a myriad of in-patient, out- patient and preventative services while eliminating barriers to care and ensuring access to anyone in need. Learn more at

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