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Health

A new partnership to get the Inland Empire more health care workers




WesternU Department of Physical Therapy student Chelsea Ngo demonstrates a bicep manual muscle test. As health care needs grow in California and nationally, students from Western University of Health Sciences and the University of La Verne are exploring a potential health care program partnership between their institutions.
WesternU Department of Physical Therapy student Chelsea Ngo demonstrates a bicep manual muscle test. As health care needs grow in California and nationally, students from Western University of Health Sciences and the University of La Verne are exploring a potential health care program partnership between their institutions.
Jeff Malet/Western University of Health Sciences

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In the coming years, more than 16,000 health care jobs are expected to open up in the Inland Empire. However, there might not be enough people to take those positions.

To create a pipeline of students to head into these fields, high schools, universities, health providers and more are all teaming up to streamline the education process.

This collaboration is called Convergence. It would clearly lay out paths that students could take, and at which institutions they could take them.

For example, if a high school student wanted to become a nurse, a school counselor would suggest classes at several different colleges to fulfill a program's requirements. The colleges, themselves, would also agree that credits could easily transfer. Finally, a participating medical provider would agree to fast-track a graduating student's job application to better ensure their chances at being hired.

Devorah Lieberman, president of the University of La Verne, says this kind of communication and partnership between local organizations is unheard of.

She believes that in the past, students had to navigate this bureaucracy on their own without assistance; Convergence would offer them guidance the whole way through.

Lieberman joins Take Two to describe how it could help address the area's health care needs.