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$50,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation grant to Lansing Community College will help military medics transition to civilian workforce

August 13, 2013

Detroit, Mich. - Under its Community Health Matching Initiative, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation provided Lansing Community College (LCC) with a $50,000 grant to support the development, implementation and evaluation of a program designed to transition military medics to civilian jobs and advanced education. The Work Force Development Agency, an affiliate of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, provided matching support in the amount of $50,000.

The Military Medic to Paramedic Program (MM2P), the first program of its kind in the country, helps transition military medics into civilian life by providing a fast-track path to EMS certifications and licensure. Upon completion of the program, veterans will have the opportunity to enter the Advanced Standing Nursing program to become a nurse. LCC’s new class of 40 veterans will begin their fall semester on August 13, 2013.

"This is a program that has been sorely needed in both the veteran community and the healthcare industry," said LCC President Brent Knight. "The MM2P not only facilitates the reintegration of our military into civilian life, but also addresses the crisis resulting from the shortage of healthcare professionals."

There is a statewide demand for over 300 paramedics, with a growth and replacement outlook of nearly 1,700 by 2020. Current statewide demand for registered nurses is over 2,200. By 2020, the growth and replacement outlook is almost 17,000 (19.3%) registered nurses.

"We have a rapidly growing shortage of paramedics and registered nurses in Michigan. At the same time, we have returning military medic veterans who have training and experience that can be quickly translated into employment as a paramedic or nurse," said Jeanette Klemczak, Health Care Talent Cluster Director, Workforce Development Agency-State of Michigan.

"The Workforce Development Agency partnership in the Military Medic to Paramedic Program addresses a major goal of the Snyder administration and WDA: building the path for rapid training and employment of our returning military veterans," says Christine Quinn, Workforce Development Agency-State of Michigan Director. "This program recognizes the military medic training and experience of the veteran and cuts the time to become a credentialed paramedic in half. This is a win-win for the veteran and for employers who are standing by to hire these newly licensed paramedics and for some these paramedics to move rapidly into training to become registered nurses."

"This is a marvelous employment program for our returning U.S. military veterans and war heroes and also trains experienced men and woman to fill a critical need serving as EMS medics," said Ira Strumwasser, Ph.D., Executive Director & CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

The BCBSM Foundation's Community Health Matching Initiative is designed to provide financial support for local nonprofits to develop, implement and evaluate programs that solve community health concerns.

Source:  DTMB-Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives and Workforce Development Agency-State of Michigan, Health Care Cluster Workforce Analysis, 2013

About Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College is Michigan’s third largest community college with approximately 20,000 students attending each year. LCC offers courses in general education for those interested in transferring to a four-year institution, career and workforce development, developmental education and personal enrichment. To meet the professional development and training needs of regional employees, the college offers customized programs for credit, non-credit and continuing education. The University Center at LCC offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and master's degrees from six partner universities on the downtown LCC campus. For more information, visit lcc.edu.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is dedicated to improving the health of Michigan residents by supporting health care research and innovative health programs.  The Foundation’s grant programs are conducted in Michigan by Michigan-based researchers and nonprofit community health care organizations. Over the past 25 years, the BCBSM Foundation has contributed approximately $20 million in grants for research and $5 million for community health programs.  This funding has resulted in enhancements to the quality of care, patient safety and access to care for the people of Michigan.  The BCBSM Foundation also supports efforts to control the rising costs of health care through research, demonstration and evaluation projects.

The BCBSM Foundation is the philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  For more information, visit BCBSM.com/foundation.

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