Health Care

James L. West Center sees graduation of first class of dementia care-trained CNA’s from local high school

Celebration is in order as 22 students and their families will commemorate a milestone as the students will graduate from the inaugural James L. West Center for Dementia Care Certified Nurse Aide Training & Competency (CNA) Program in partnership with the P-TECH certification class in the Pathways for Technology Early College Medical Collegiate Academy at Fort Worth ISD’s North Side High School.

The James L. West Center for Dementia Care is the clinical partner in this first-of-its-kind post- acute partnership with a high school in North Texas. The workforce development program is helping students recognize the aging sector as a potential career opportunity. As a first step in the healthcare career ladder, students can leverage this CNA certification with enhanced dementia training as an entrance into long-term care, nursing school, and beyond.

The P-TECH curriculum is a partnership among Fort Worth Independent School District, North Side High School, and James L. West Center for Dementia Care, offering an inter-generational opportunity for a promising career path.

The students will be entering their senior year and have completed three years of the program that included introductory dementia education in their freshman and sophomore years, and a State of Texas-approved Nurse Aide Training course with enhanced Dementia Specialist training in their junior year. The program has taught them in the Texas curriculum of the Certified Nurse Aide training course, and they will sit for their accreditation State of Texas exam this summer. The James L. West Center, which has provided the curriculum and clinical partnership, is an approved testing site.

“We are honored to have collaborated in the development of this program – a first of its kind in the dementia space of the long-term care and healthcare industries, and we are grateful that Fort Worth ISD has seen the value of this clinical opportunity,” says Jaime Cobb Tinsley, Vice President of Caregiver & Dementia Education at The James L. West Center.

She continues, “This clinical partnership will also lead to employment opportunities at the James L. West Center, and other aging services organizations, as we have created opportunities for these students this summer. We hosted a job fair and interviewed most of these students, as well as others interested in various career paths in aging services. This is particularly appropriate timing since May is Aging Services Month.”

“We appreciate the insight of the Fort Worth ISD Administration in recognizing the importance of partnering with organizations such as The James L. West Center for Dementia Care to educate emerging leaders seeking positions in the healthcare field.”

The impact of this healthcare-focused P-TECH program is expanding with this fall’s next starting cohort already registering more than 40 class members.

For 30 years, the James L. West Center for Dementia Care, a not-for-profit organization, has served those living with dementia and related disorders. The Center continues to build upon its excellence in dementia education by expanding its service lines to meet the needs of the community. The West Center will open its off-site Day Program in southwest Fort Worth in 2023. The James L. West Center provides residential care, an Adult Day Program, as well as professional and family caregiver education. publishes every week.
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Barbara Clark Galupi