Plymouth Place CNA Academy Celebrates Historic Graduation

The first graduating class of Plymouth Place’s CNA Academy.

CHHSM member Plymouth Place, based in LaGrange Park, Ill., continually drives new solutions to improve the lives of its residents and employees. That includes the recent celebration of the first graduating class of Plymouth Place’s newly-formed CNA Academy. The class consisted for four new graduates: Mariana Santana, Arileny Chavarry, Carmen Mateo, and Carmel Saurel.

As the nation faces healthcare staffing challenges, Plymouth Place saw the need to establish its own CNA program. The program allows Plymouth Place to continually provide exemplary care and services to residents while empowering employees to advance their careers.

Available to all Plymouth Place employees at no cost, the CNA Academy was initiated two years ago by the Plymouth Place Office of Philanthropy in collaboration, along with a donation from a resident’s generous family. The CNA Academy is fully donor-funded and supported by the Elvira Teuffer Scholarship Fund.

To create the CNA program, the Plymouth Place team applied to the Illinois Department of Public Health, underwent an on-site survey, and selected staff members who were then trained and certified to teach. The CNA Academy consists of 123 hours of training that includes theory (classroom), lab, and clinical hours. After completing the CNA Academy, graduates must pass the State of Illinois Certification Exam.

Once all steps are completed, these graduates can work in skilled nursing, helping residents perform tasks of daily living like dressing, eating, and bathing. Often, CNAs continue their education to become nurses.

The CNA Academy is an important steppingstone for Plymouth Place employees. “It’s exciting for our team to watch staff from other departments gain the courage and knowledge to join the medical field,” said Michelle Hart-Carlson, vice president of operations and senior director of clinical services at Plymouth Place. “This is truly an empowering time at Plymouth Place.”

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