Education - Page 1 - Meeting current and future workforce needs

- Page 1
Meeting current and future workforce needs
Colleges stay atop of what drives the economy

By Carol Sorgen, Contributing Writer

The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of people and communities across the country through cutting-edge data analytics and translational research conducted on behalf of government agencies, foundations and nonprofit organizations.

“Hilltop exemplifies UMBC’s commitment to service to the state,” says Marsha Willis, M.S.W., senior policy analyst for organizational advancement. Hilltop was established in 1994, and was one of the first partnerships formed between a public university and a state Medicaid agency. Through this nationally recognized partnership, Hilltop and the Maryland Department of Health collaborate to conduct objective, evidence-based research and analysis to inform state health policy. The state of Maryland – with its innovative health policies and all-payer global budget model for hospitals – offers a unique environment for Hilltop’s work and lessons for other states.

Willis notes that both Hilltop and UMBC are also committed to preparing the next generation of data scientists, health services researchers and public policy professionals. “Hilltop provides UMBC students with opportunities for experiential learning through internships and research assistantships focused on data-driven research and analysis to advance health policy decisionmaking,” says Willis. “We also collaborate with faculty from UMBC and other universities to identify research questions of relevance to policymakers that require rigorous data analytics to address.”

Recent projects have included a study funded by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy titled “Estimating the Costs to Mississippi Medicaid Attributable to Tobacco.” To conduct the study, Hilltop researchers analyzed Mississippi Medicaid claims data and quantified the financial impact of tobacco use on Mississippi’s Medicaid program.

“Hilltop’s mission is to advance the health and wellbeing of people and communities through research and analysis, and the UMBC students who work here contribute greatly to that effort,” says Willis.

AACC Launches CSP Program for English Language Learners

Last year, Anne Arundel Community College established its first cohort of Central Sterile Processing for English Language Learners. The 15 students, ranging in age from 20 to 59, from such countries as Honduras, Morocco, Myanmar and Rwanda, some of whom already possessed secondary degrees in other fields, were non-native English speakers improving their language skills, while learning the technical skills needed to start a career as a certified registered central service technician with certification from the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management.

Lumie Henderson was a member of that first  cohort. Henderson is 31 and lives in Brooklyn Park. Her native language is Tagalog (Filipino).

“When I was enrolled at AACC for English as a Second Language, I saw an ad on the bulletin board offering central sterile processing certification for free for those that speak English as their second language,” Henderson says, explaining what drew her to the program.

Workforce needs, continued on page 7