Meet Alicia White: A Health Information Technology program graduate

MO Health Wins

100 Years, 100 Stories

The MoHealthWINs program ends this week, so we wanted to share some stories about the impact the program has made on our students and our community.

DSC_0262Meet Alicia White: White says her lifelong dream was to work in a hospital. With help from the MoHealthWINs program she passed the Certified Associate in Health Information and Management Systems Exam and earned the outstanding student in Health Information Technology (HIT) award.

“One of my goals has always been to get into the hospital setting. The MoHealthWINs helped me achieve that,” White says. “I have to give kudos to the MoHealthWins staff, because they are awesome, and they work as a team. They keep you motivated, they don’t let you give up. I took the certification test twice. The second time I passed, and I could not have done it without their help.”

White now works as a medical records analyst specialist at Liberty Hospital.

Prior to her current role, White says she had been working in a position with little chance of promotion.

“I felt like I was just stuck in the entry level position with nowhere to go. I was at a primary care office as a  referral specialist. There just wasn’t a way to move up.”

MCC was able to offer the MoHealthWINs programs thanks to the federal grant program called TAACCCT, which stands for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training. The program’s priorities were to accelerate progress for low-skilled and other workers, improve retention and achievement rates and reduce time to completion, build programs that meet industry needs, and strengthen online and technology enabled learning. The grants were administered by the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the Department of Education.

White says her program “allowed me to brush up on the skills that I needed to become a professional.”

DSC_0265She had the chance to meet the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, when he visited the Business & Technology campus in August. She took part in a roundtable discussion with Perez, other officials and successful graduates.

White says she wants to continue advancing and possibly take more classes “to help me further my success in the hospital setting.”

In September 2011, the Department of Labor announced that Missouri was among the first round of awardees of federal grants to train community college students for careers in growing healthcare occupations. The TAACCCT grant program launched a four-year expansion of healthcare education among a 13-member consortium of Missouri community colleges from 2011-2015. The state program, MoHealthWINs, was aimed at workers who had lost jobs as a result of work sent overseas, were unemployed or underemployed, or were low-skilled or lacked academic preparation for college or career.

Five out of 10 best-paying jobs requiring an associate degree are health-related, and individuals with an associate degree earn an average of $435,000 more over the course of their working lifetimes than those with only a high school diploma. The MoHealthWINs grant made it possible for students to achieve “stackable credentials” toward certificates or degrees.

MoHealthWINs served more than 4,200 individuals, many of whom moved into one of four career pathways in high-demand healthcare fields: health informatics, therapeutic services, diagnostic services and support services. Program requirements for certification were aligned with more than 229 industry partners to ensure graduates were work-ready upon employment

The Missouri Community College Association managed the grant for Missouri’s 12 community colleges and one state technical college. Two further rounds of the TAACCCT grant program are currently underway. To learn how MoManufacturingWINs and MoStemWINs are impacting the state, visit mccatoday.org.