FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catalyst Learning’s School at Work Births ECHO Product to Meet the Need
for Career Advising for Advancing Employees
College-Preparatory Coursework at Hospitals Create Career-Ladder Success
(Louisville, KY-March 28, 2007)—Catalyst Learning has launched a new program for hospital workers seeking advancement inside America’s hospitals and physician practices, building upon its workforce development model for employee advancement and engagement. The program is called “Expanding Your Career and Healthcare Opportunities” (ECHO). ECHO includes mentoring, career advising, classroom training in college-prep areas, such as anatomy and physiology. The typical ECHO student is employed as a team leader or supervisor, an advanced clerical worker, or in an allied health ‘tech’ position.
ECHO builds upon the base that Catalyst Learning has developed with its School at Work® product used by over 280 hospitals in 36 states. “ECHO was developed in response to hospital customer needs to accelerate the process for developing skilled clinical and support staff,” said Lynn Fischer, President of Catalyst Learning. “The career advising model that was introduced with School at Work in 2004 has proven adaptable to this more advanced employee audience in pilot tests conducted during 2006.” Fischer cited examples of pilot sites in Jacksonville, St. Louis and Columbus, OH using ECHO as a springboard to move employees into medical coding and related fields, where there are limited staff.
Liz Bruno, Director of Educational Development at St.Vincent’s Medical Center, in Jacksonville, Fla., has been impressed with the rapid acceptance of ECHO. “The ECHO product meets a real need. Here at St. Vincent’s, we were able to use this program to prepare a group of health information management employees for their intensive in-house coding school. The program was a real key to the success of the coding effort. All participants identified it as extremely valuable. Frankly, I have come to rely on Catalyst learning as one of the pillars in our workforce development program to enhance the performance of and opportunities for our entry level employees. With the addition of the accelerated SAW program, we are now able to better serve that ‘in between’ group.”
BJC Healthcare students in St. Louis are also an example of the results ECHO can achieve. For example, SAW graduate Francine Keys is now attending college classes to pursue an accounting degree. “The course was more than just a class; it really encouraged me to not be afraid to take that next step in following my heart to get my degree. Also, I believe I have made some lifelong friends,” she said.
Hospitals that participated in the ECHO pilot program included: Northwestern University Hospital (Chicago); Plaza Medical Hospital (Dallas); Mt. Carmel Hospital (Columbus); St. Agnes (Baltimore); Dubois (Pennsylvania); St. Vincent’s Medical Center (Jacksonville); and BJC Healthcare (St. Louis). ECHO is Catalyst Learning’s second education and career development product for the high-growth healthcare industry. Fischer indicated, “We have a phenomenal customer base of hospitals. These are industry leaders in focusing their energies on staff development and growth from within. It’s great to have them express additional needs that Catalyst Learning is able to help them meet.”
There have been 9 pilot sites to date, and approximately 88 students have participated in ECHO.
About Catalyst Learning
Catalyst Learning Company in Kentucky provides innovative workforce development models delivered at the worksite for adults in support level positions. Catalyst Learning’s principal products are School at Work ® (SAW), a career development system, and the accelerated SAW program, Expanding Your Career and Healthcare Opportunities (ECHO). The School at Work vision is to dramatically expand access to education for adults employed in support-level jobs. This vision is being achieved by working closely with employers to help them realize a return-on-investment and by using technology to deliver education. Education delivery is done in a blended learning approach which embraces the use of technology for instruction and classroom activity, as mentoring as key components. Catalyst Learning was founded in 1992 and is a female-owned small business.