Gillibrand seeks funds to train students for health jobs – Spectrum News

Rodney Bethea, 63, admires young people who choose to be health professionals.

“Your heart really has to be into it if you want to be a doctor, or whatever,” he said. “You’ve got to really give it all you got, you know?” Bethea said.

Bethea has met many of them, who have been treating his high blood pressure and keeping him active.

“I go out dancing as much as I can,” he said. “Have a good time.”

Bethea is familiar with the national health care worker shortage that has hit the Hudson Valley especially hard, and sees opportunity for young people in his city to help solve that problem.

“If we don’t act now the problem will surely grow,” U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand warned during a press conference Monday at the Newburgh SUNY campus.

Gillibrand said she is trying to secure an additional $20 million for the National Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program.

The funding bump would be distributed among the nation’s 250 AHECs.

AHECs recruit, train and empower up-and-coming students to work in health care.

The Catskill-Hudson AHEC’S three-person team could end up receiving more than $200,000 next year if the increase goes through.

It would double their budget.

The Catskill-Hudson AHEC said the team already helps place about 1,000 workers in healthcare jobs each year, and has the ability to serve more people.

“We’re working with a skeleton crew and we can only cover a certain number of schools and programs,” AHEC Executive Director Megan Deichler said. “So with this additional funding we’ll be able to to do so much more.”

Gillibrand said she is trying to make the money available in 2022.


Posted on

Leave a Reply