Big Sky Economic Development News

New CNA course and Simulated Operating Room added at Career Center – by Karen Baumgart

Jul 06, 2018

It should come as no surprise that projects get done more effectively and efficiently when the work is tackled by a team. Heck, there are a plethora of idioms affirming this truth: many hands make light work, it takes a village to raise a child, and two heads are better than one, just to spit out a few. And it appears, the Billings community has not only embraced this collaborative concept but is breaking down historical silos to successfully make change at a lightyear speed that would impress Han Solo.

Only 6 months ago, Judi Powers, CEO of Advanced Healthcare leaned over to the Principal at the Career Center, Scott Anderson, during a Career and Technical Education board meeting and mentioned how great it’d be to develop a CNA program at the high school level. Fast forward to today and not only will the Career Center be offering a CNA course to 90 students this fall but have expanded the biomed program to include a simulated operation room expected to be completed by Fall 2019.

“This Simulated OR space at the Career Center is a true example of public schools, colleges, Industry, and economic agencies coming together to provide our High School students with the best and most relevant educational experience possible.”  Scott Anderson, Principal of the Career Center, explains.

The Billings community sees how impactful it can be by not just asking industry to be at the table, but to lead the discussion and provide the solution.

Krista Hertz, Executive Director of the Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools illustrates this aspect explaining, “the addition of this course is in direct response to the need for surgical technicians and other like positions in our hospitals locally and regionally.”

The new CNA course and Simulated Operating Room will be staffed by nurses employed at Advanced Healthcare, St. John’s Lutheran Ministries and Legacy Healthcare, and equipped with the support and contribution of Billings Clinic, St. Vincent’s, Big Sky Economic Development and First Interstate Bank. Dr. Haan, Medical Science Instructor at the Career Center, praises this partnership stating,” This is only possible through the outstanding partnerships and collaboration with healthcare organizations and leaders in the community.  These partners are making an investment in the students…and the future of healthcare delivery in Billings and the surrounding area.”

So, there you have it. With industry guiding programmatic development in our education system, within 6 months, two new courses can not only be created but fully funded and ready to go.

High five, Billings. Way to collect many hands, more than one brain, and gather a village for the good of our students and city.