Waltonwood Ashburn, located in Ashburn, VA, in partnership with the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University, a public research university in Detroit, Michigan, offers Waltonwood associates and other medical professionals classes and continuing education (CE) credits during the pandemic. With frontline workers under more stress now more than ever, providing free CE credits has been Waltonwood’s way to give back to the healthcare worker community.
Continuing education (CE) credits are an educational requirement for professionals with healthcare careers. They are designed to keep healthcare workers up-to-date on medical advances. They fill the gap between current care and optimal care and are mandated by licensing boards, professional societies, and certification boards for healthcare professionals. CE has been highly effective at improving patient outcomes and saving lives within the senior living industry.
Amongst the many reasons for these offerings, Waltonwood wanted to support and provide resources for their frontline workers, as well as show their appreciation for all healthcare workers for all that they have done and continue to do across the world. The monthly classes are free and held over Zoom for professionals living in Virginia and North Carolina. However, Dana Rizzo, area manager of business development at Waltonwood Ashburn and Donna MacDonald, the director of outreach for the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University, hope to expand their program and its reach moving forward. They have received overwhelming positive feedback and gratitude from the participants and are eager to continue sharing these opportunities.
The credits that Waltonwood and Wayne State are providing are almost enough to meet the requirements for the healthcare professionals board exams in roughly a two-year period. By making the courses free, it allows people to further their careers and education without being worried about financial stressors and burdens that usually come with such programs. Frontline workers have given so much during these last few months and Rizzo and MacDonald believe this is the least they can do.
Since the classes started, more than 200 professionals have participated and received continuing education credits. The content of the CE’s is applicable to the situations frontline staff face every day and gives them tools to further their careers. The programs are designed to be relevant, state of the art, and very interactive even though they take place remotely.
“We’re more than happy to provide this support to ease the added stress of maintaining their licenses to work during this pandemic. We know the challenges professionals face during these unprecedented times, so we wanted to do our part to provide a free class for all professionals from Waltonwood associates to social workers and registered nurses. We have received tremendous feedback, and we look forward to helping additional healthcare professionals in the months to come.” Says Rizzo.
Waltonwood has a commitment to excellence, providing resources to their staff, and community. “Training is one of the best ways I know to ensure consistently high-quality care,” said MacDonald. “So, we’re proud to partner with Waltonwood to provide free continuing education on timely topics. Waltonwood invites healthcare staff and professionals throughout the community. That way everyone who works with older adults can benefit.”