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Mayo Clinic Health System Officials Tour OTC Allied Health Building

Mike Deitschmann (clockwise), Jim Nordone, Dr. Glenn Deibert, Cheryl Croft, Toni Nelson, Brigitte Churchill, Holli Sweat, and Mary Hoffman discuss the workforce needs of the Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross.

Mayo Clinic Health System administrators met with Okefenokee Technical College (OTC) President Dr. Glenn Deibert and other college officials December 18 to tour the OTC allied health building and discuss ways to strengthen Mayo’s educational partnership with the College to benefit the community.

Mayo Clinic representatives Brigitte Churchill, director, human resources; Cheryl Croft, associate administrator; Mike Deitschmann, associate administrator; Mary Hoffman, chief administrative officer; Toni Nelson, coordinator, public relations; and Holli Sweat, associate administrator and chief nursing officer, attended the meeting and took the tour, joined by OTC’s Jim Nordone, interim vice president for academic affairs, and Cindy Tanner, public relations and information director.

Dr. Deibert shared information about the upcoming Altamaha Technical College and Okefenokee Technical College merger, specifically the positive impact the change will have on the area’s health care industry. Deibert also shared plans for future health care programs and explained how the merger will benefit allied health students.

Dr. Abe Pallas, OTC dean for academic affairs, led the group on the tour. The nearly 55,000 square foot building houses all of OTC’s allied health programs, as well as the 8,000 square foot library. All OTC medical programs have a classroom and lab designed specifically for that health care field. The building, open for learning since January 2010, has enabled allied health students to have spacious classrooms and laboratories that more closely reflect the working environment of the health care industry. The tour included a demonstration by Dr. John Rowe of OTC’s ViziTech 3D system.

Following the tour, the group gathered again in the Library Conference Room to discuss the workforce needs of Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross. Among the various discussions, there was agreement that additional training was needed among health care providers in gerontology. Additional training was also discussed for nurse aide and patient care assistant employees.

Churchill suggested a follow-up meeting to discuss how OTC can better align class schedules with hospital needs, especially regarding evening shifts. She also suggested that OTC officials encourage allied health students to apply for part-time employment with the health system while attending school, since Mayo Clinic Health System provides benefits to employees who work 20 or more hours. She also encouraged instructors to tap Mayo health care providers to serve as guest speakers.

A follow-up meeting will be planned in the near future to continue discussions on new and innovative ways the two organizations can work together to help train the health care workforce for current and future jobs in Southeast Georgia.

Mayo_visit_012014b In the photo above, Dr. Pallas shares information about the medical assisting lab. The new building has enabled allied health students to have spacious classrooms and laboratories that house state-of-the-art equipment and more closely reflect the industry’s workplace.

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