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Davis Journal

County provides funding for CNA program

Jan 21, 2021 10:03AM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—The pandemic has increased the need for healthcare workers. In an effort to meet the demand, Davis County used Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) funds to provide scholarships for students in the CNA program at Davis Technical College (DTC).

The money came from the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. “We gave them $40,000,” said Steve Lyon, Grants Administrator for Davis County. “Because it’s for COVID it’s very narrow on what we can do with it and we saw there was a need to increase the amount of healthcare workers.”

Lyon said the county received $1 million to support things like the food bank and other public services. “This is unique because we’re increasing the number of healthcare workers at the base level.”

The county reached out to DTC to see how fast they could get a class going, he said. “They were underfunded because of the virus and the nature of the pandemic.”

“We’re super excited to work with the community to identify those people who have been impacted by COVID and are looking to make a career change,” said Marcie Valdez, Foundation Director and Grant Writer/Administrator for DTC. “The scholarship will cover tuition and books for students interested in becoming a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant).

This last year put a strain on healthcare workers, she said. “The great thing about this program is it’s a launch pad for individuals to go on in the healthcare field. They can become surgical techs, medical assistants, practical nurses or RNs. It will help remove the financial burden people in Davis County may have had in taking that first step.”

Valdez anticipates the $40,000 will serve about 60 students. “To qualify, applicants must have low to moderate income and live in Davis County.”

It’s a short training program, she said. “It takes about two months to complete so students can get out and start providing for their families and be out right away giving care in a hospital, assisted living center or in other healthcare facilities.”

The application process is easy, said Valdez. “They can just go to our website, and come in and speak to an advisor. We’ve tried to streamline the process and make it easy to access so we can get students going as easily as possible.”

The CNA program begins monthly with 15 to 20 students in each cohort. DTC runs six cohorts at a time.

“It’s one of our largest programs,” she said. “We offer daytime and nighttime classes with an option to go full or part time. We’ll have a new cohort of students in February.”

Clinicals for CNAs have been suspended during the pandemic so that requirement is currently being waived, said Valdez. “We’re working with several partners so students don’t experience a delay but we’re placing students weekly with medical providers because the demand is so high.”

Valdez said now is a good time to get started. “It’s a great way to come in, get trained, get a job and earn a great wage. It’s a great stepping stone to launch that career in healthcare.”