HCHD Foundation’s Silver Tea Special Event is truly one of a kind. The Tea is held in a private home, and many attendees continue to compliment the personal and intimate gathering, which benefits Harris Health System’s Nursing Practice and Professional Advancement’s Work-School Program.
Harris Health System’s Nursing Practice and Professional Advancement’s Work-School Program began with funding provided by the HCHD Foundation through its Silver Tea special event. The program is available to full-time nursing employees currently enrolled in a nursing degree-seeking program. The program has graduated 50 students with degrees ranging from Associate to Doctorate Degree in Nursing, but more needs to be done.
Our nurses are on the front lines, taking care of those in our communities every day. They are one of our most important assets, and helping them raise the bar through education is one of our first priorities.”
-Ruth Ransom, executive director, HCHD Foundation.
In the next 18 months, Harris Health System anticipates opening nine new clinics providing medical homes primarily to the residents of unincorporated areas of Harris County. These clinics will expand access to health care to 100,000 new Harris Health System patients without other healthcare options. As with any new clinic opening, we will need healthcare personnel. We expect to increase our nursing staff by 25% during this period. However, at the same time we are facing a large number of nurses that are approaching retirement.
The Work-School Program is key in growing our nursing leadership and attracting outside talent needed to fill critical positions. It is vital that the program be expanded and incentives increased to maintain excellence in healthcare.
Harris Health System nurses are enrolled in degree programs at the University of Texas at Houston, Arlington and El Paso, as well as Prairie View A&M and Texas Woman’s University at Houston. Books and fees at these institutions range from $1,100 to $2,100 per semester. Our Foundation has been able to offer a $500 stipend per semester per student, up to 20 students, plus some are paid time-off from work, thanks to the Silver Tea. This event has not been enough to provide the funding Harris Health System’s nurses need, which has forced more outside recruitment and expense.
To retain nurses and help advance their careers, the Foundation needs to be able to offer a $2,000 stipend per student, per semester in addition to the paid time off for education. In return, participants agree to work at Harris Health equal to the amount of time supported by the Work-School Program.
Harris Health intends to continue as an employer of choice and offer equal or better incentives, such as placing a priority on continuing nursing education, to attract and retain these highly important individuals.
If you would like to donate to the nursing program and/or receive an invitation to the Silver Tea Special Event, please email Ruth.Ransom@harrishealth.org
Together, we can support our nurses for a healthier and brighter tomorrow!