Hillcrest Healthcare supports education through The 865 Academies

Hillcrest Healthcare passionately supports education and continuing education through associations with South College, The Mason Center for Healthcare Education, Hillcrest Healthcare Foundation and local schools and colleges. The team has added involvement with The 865 Academies to share healthcare career insight to both local high school educators and students.

The 865 Academies is a program rolling out across all Knox County public high schools and supported through Knox Education Foundation that creates career-themed academies that allow students to explore what careers and pathways are available after high school.

Through visits from local organizations, job shadowing, work-based learning and connection with professionals in their field of interest, students can get a head start on their path to career success. The program accepts partners to help impact students, and the Hillcrest Healthcare team has stepped up to speak to high school classes, offer paid internships and invite educators to the communities.

A team from Hillcrest Healthcare, including Doug Bryant, director of human resources, diversity and inclusion, Diana Fisher, director of development, and Lavonda Cantrell, director of marketing, visits partner schools to share a bit about their journey and discuss how they found their passion in long-term care.

“High school students may not be aware that even within healthcare, there are many career pathways available,” Lavonda shares. “From the business office, maintenance, social work, activities, dining services, housekeeping and more, it’s eye-opening to students to consider how a position in healthcare can align with their career goals and unique skills – even if it isn’t direct patient care.”

Students also gain insight on how employees of Hillcrest Healthcare have opportunities to pursue continuing education – often with little out-of-pocket cost – to grow their careers.

Hillcrest partners with Fulton High School, Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy and Hardin Valley Academy and hopes to expand the program. Teachers from Fulton and Kelley also spent a half day at one of the Hillcrest communities job shadowing and learning, leaving with excitement for their students at the abundance of opportunities.

Doug shares a similar sentiment about the student experience: “The most impactful thing I have encountered since partnering with The 865 Academies is watching hope ignite in the eyes of the students when we discuss affordable educational opportunities offered by Hillcrest that they never knew existed.”

Already, some students participating in The 865 Academies have joined the Hillcrest Healthcare team, as well as several family members who heard about opportunities from students.

Hillcrest offers a paid healthcare internship, where those accepted rotate through four departments spending six weeks in each department. Doug explains, “Throughout the internship, the HR team keeps in touch to find out the participant’s likes and dislikes for each department to help students find their right fit. Once a fit is established, we place them on a career path for that specialty.”

Employee development is important, and Hillcrest offers tuition reimbursement, free in-house cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certifications and re-certifications, IV certifications for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), specialized training in programs of distinction, learning partnerships with local health systems, certified nursing assistant (CNA) program and other free certifications and continuing education in their goal to provide professional and career development.

The Hillcrest Healthcare team is honored to offer opportunities for high school students and give firsthand insight into the long-term healthcare field, which is expected to expand as the population of older adults grows. If you are interested in exploring a career in healthcare, check out the Hillcrest Healthcare careers page.