Des Moines Hospital Earns Iowa Award for Jobs Program

An innovative training and employment program has earned Broadlawns Medical Center (BMC) in Des Moines a statewide award. The Iowa Job Honor Award, presented by the Iowa Society of Human Resource Management (ISHRM), celebrates Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment and the employers who hire them.

BMC was recognized for its TEACH (Training and Educating Adults for a Career in Healthcare) program that targets individuals who have historically faced employment barriers. TEACH is a paid job-training program in which participants receive soft-skill training in professionalism and exposure to career opportunities that exist in health care. Participants earn a basic and advanced Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) degree from Des Moines Area Community College as part of the program. Since 2016, 55 people have gone through the program.

“On behalf of all of us who have been involved with the successful implementation of the TEACH job training program at Broadlawns, we are very grateful for the recognition from ISHRM,” said Jody Jenner, president and CEO of BMC. “Receiving the Iowa Job Honor Award is a significant affirmation for our TEACH program and a measure of support for giving at-risk individuals a second chance. Broadlawns is extremely proud of our TEACH participants and we look forward to seeing them continue on with their careers in health care.”

Broadlawns implemented the TEACH program in the fall of 2016, and 55 participants have completed the job training program since its inception. Participants in the TEACH program are comprised of individuals who have historically faced employment barriers. This is a paid job-training program, and participants receive soft skill training in professionalism and exposure to career opportunities that exist in healthcare. Participants earn a basic and advanced Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) degree from Des Moines Area Community College as part of TEACH training .

“I’m very happy to be involved with this transformative program,” said Wayne Ford, founder of Urban Dreams and community advocate for Broadlawns. “When Jody Jenner and I traveled to Baltimore and met with city officials and leaders from Johns Hopkins, we were looking for inspiration as to how we could address the challenges facing the low-income residents of North Des Moines. The TEACH program that Broadlawns developed does more than just give people a job. The TEACH program is giving at-risk individuals an opportunity to live the American dream.”

Saleem Hamilton is a 37-year-old African American male who was previously incarcerated. He completed the TEACH program in May and is now employed at Broadlawns. He shared his sentiments about the TEACH program. “Each one, TEACH one. I am a firm believer in that. The TEACH program put me in a position to further my education and to fulfill my social obligations by paying it forward. During 18 years and nine months of incarceration, I learned how not to treat people. The TEACH program taught me every aspect of what it takes to earn my CNA, and it also taught me how to deal with people from different demographics, races and cultures.

“And, it taught me critical thinking and problem solving skills. The TEACH program completely changed the trajectory of my life, and anyone fortunate enough to be involved in the good works of the TEACH program, in any capacity, will be making themselves and their community better for it. Thank you to Mr. Jody Jenner, Mr. Wayne Ford, Mr. Dennis Henderson and the remarkable staff at Broadlawns Medical Center for showing me that there is a lot of good still in the world. They’ve shown me that I can do more, want more for myself, and aspire to be and do anything.”

The TEACH program is one component of “Broadlawns Local,” which is designed to address social determinants of health in the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital’s campus. Participants in the TEACH program are identified in collaboration with Urban Dreams, Creative Visions and the Evelyn K. Davis Center. The TEACH program receives financial support from Central Iowa Works, a workforce development arm of United Way of Central Iowa.