NECC Opens New iHealth Building
Area health care leaders were the first to get an inside look at Northern Essex Community College’s new iHealth facility at a breakfast held on Wednesday, October 19.
The building—which used to house an Audi car dealership and, more recently, a furniture rental center—will now be a training ground for individuals looking for careers in growing health care fields.
Located at 52 Franklin St., across the street from the college’s Dimitry Building, the 11,000 square foot facility now features clinical and acute care labs, a computer lab, and state-of-the-art classrooms, along with faculty offices.
Northern Essex launched iHealth@NECC, an innovative public/private partnership, designed to prepare adults for careers in health care, this fall.
“iHealth@NECC is a new way of delivering health care programs,” according to Dr. Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex. “The process is streamlined so that students, especially adult students who have family and work responsibilities, can get started on a new career quickly.”
Most courses are offered online and students only need to be on campus one day or evening a week. The programs are accelerated and most certificate programs can be completed in 12 months or less.
The college currently collaborates with area health care providers and the hope is that iHealth will provide another option for employers who are looking to train current employees or to hire new employees.
At the breakfast, Katie Budinger, general manager of optical and clinical manager, Tallman Eye Associates, shared how her organization is working with the college to develop a program to train eye technicians. When the program launches, it will be the only certified program of its kind in Massachusetts, according to Budinger.
“Collaborations like this take away the burden of training someone from the ground up,” said Budinger. “We are proud to be working with Northern Essex.”
On the job for four months, President Lane Glenn shared his vision for Lawrence at the breakfast. “The iHealth building is part of a larger vision for a comprehensive campus in Lawrence,” he said. “In 2013, we plan to open the Ibrahim El Hefni Health & Technology Center on the site of the current InTown Mall on Common St.”
Programs offered through iHealth@NECC include associate degrees in general studies: health studies option and business management: healthcare practice management option, and certificates in medical coding, healthcare technician, and emergency management. In addition, certification courses will be offered in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support. Future programs are likely to include medical lab technician, health information technology, and LPN-to-RN nursing, according to Glenn.
“Demand for health care programs has been high from both students and employers,” said Glenn. “This new initiative allows us to expand what we currently offer and prepare hundreds more local residents for high demand careers.”
The college currently offers 19 certificate and associate degree programs in the health care area, ranging from an associate degree in nursing to a certificate in phlebotomy. Because of space limitations, the college has had to cap enrollments and hold off on developing new programs in high demand fields.
The college is partnering with Health Education Partners which is providing funding to lease the new building at 52 Franklin St. in Lawrence. The new site features state-of-the-art classrooms, lab facilities, and student resources.