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Bay holds CNA training with state’s approval

ESCANABA — Employees of Christian Park Health Care Center and Christian Park Village recently completed a two-week certified nursing assistant (CNA) training program. The program, which complied with social distancing guidelines, was held at the MTEC building at Bay College.

In early May, Bay received a request to provide professional training.

“Bay College’s workforce training division was contacted by Christian Park to offer certified nurse’s aide training to recently hired employees,” Dean of Business, Technology & Workforce Development Cynthia Carter said.

The college was unable to immediately begin offering this training due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order.

“Dr. Coleman, along with the Christian Park administrators, had written a letter to Gov. Whitmer’s office explaining the situation,” Carter said.

Carter said the college heard word on May 7 that it would be able to provide the training.

“We received the OK from the governor’s office (for) essential workers, including certified nurse’s assistants, to leave their homes (for) training,” she said.

The program recently offered at Bay was a continuation of its existing, state-approved CNA training program. The program is taught by Rebecca Calouette and is overseen by Renee Lundberg.

“Renee runs this program several times during the year,” Carter said.

Bay began offering CNA training to Christian Park employees on Monday, May 12.

“In order to make the May 12 start date happen, Bay College had to have all safety measures and PPE ready to bring the students into the CNA lab,” Carter said.

As part of this, students were required to wear masks and gloves and go through temperature checks and a screening questionnaire. Disinfecting also took place at MTEC on a daily basis.

Eight employees from Christian Park completed their training on Thursday, May 21.

“The program has been incredibly successful. We have been able to fill a need in our community to help our local nursing home,” Carter said.

Due to the success of the program, Carter said Bay has begun considering the possibility of expanding its CNA training efforts in the future.

“We are looking at starting another group … both in Escanaba and Iron Mountain because the need is so great,” she said.

The college does not have plans to introduce similar training programs for other essential positions.

“At this point, the CNA is our top priority in terms of essential training,” Carter said.

Carter was glad to have played a role in efforts to make Bay’s recent CNA training possible.

“It’s been really exciting to be a part of it and helping train these essential employees,” she said.

Senior Administrator for Christian Park Health Care Center and Christian Park Village Maureen Cary said she was also happy to see the completion of the training program.

“We have had an absolutely wonderful partnership with (Bay) … I’m just ecstatic that we were able to do the partnership right now, when we need healthcare workers more than ever,” she said.

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