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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

LEWISTOWN, Pa. –  Five Geisinger Lewistown Hospital employees have enrolled as students in Geisinger’s School at Work (SAW) program, a training and development course for healthcare workers aimed at improving their current position and developing a personalized career plan. 

The six-month program helps employees strengthen communications, grammar, reading and writing skills. It also introduces employees to medical terminology and aims to help entry-level employees seek technical school or job advancement, and build their confidence to further their healthcare career. 

“Programs like this not only builds an employee’s self-esteem, it also motivates them to seek higher education, and in turn achieve higher paying healthcare positions. We congratulate and commend all of our participants and are thrilled to support their careers with continuing education," said Kirk Thomas, chief administrative officer, Geisinger Western Region. 

Program coaches from Human Resources, Taylor Webster, Alexia Dressler, and Michael Fry work with the students one-on-one. “Our employees are our most valuable resource and seeing their confidence increase from class to class is so rewarding. This program is a great addition to Geisinger,” said coach Taylor Webster, human resources coordinator, Geisinger Western Region. 

“This program helps our motivated frontline workers realize their full potential and emphasizes Geisinger’s commitment to advancing workers into clinical, clerical and support roles. It’s very gratifying to witness their dedication, confidence, and overall growth,” said Jada Fasold, human resources education & SAW Program coordinator, Geisinger Western Region.

Western Region’s inaugural SAW students are April Varner, patient access representative, Pulmonary Medicine; Cassie Aultz, distribution aide, Supply Chain Logistics; Heather Graham, unit desk clerk, Surgery; Pamela Klinger, same day surgery tech, Outpatient Surgery; and Traci Futon, administrative assistant, Marketing and Communications. 

Since inception, Geisinger’s SAW program has graduated 29 students. Many of those employees have either been promoted or have enrolled back to school. This fall, the program has 32 students enrolled and is being offered simultaneously in the Northeast, Central and Western regions. 

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

 
Graduates of Geisinger Lewistown Hospital's SAW Program

Front row, seated from left: Pamela Klinger, Cassie Aultz and April Varner. Back row, from left: Taylor Webster (coach), Jada Fasold (coach), Traci Futon, Heather Graham, Alexia Dressler (coach)

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