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UC Health, CityLink Center Partner on New PCA Training Program

Aug. 1, 2022

CINCINNATI - Employment program will help more individuals embark upon medical careers.


A new partnership between UC Health and CityLink Center will help more individuals in our community embark upon medical careers as patient care assistants (PCAs) in local healthcare facilities.

The PCA Training Program launched on Monday, Aug. 1 with a pilot cohort class of 15 students. At the end of the three-week program, graduates will be offered full-time PCA positions at UC Health’s Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care. The program also provides graduates with the opportunity to pursue certification as a state-tested nurse aide (STNA).

Patient care assistants provide basic medical and personal care to patients in a clinical setting under the supervision of registered nurses.

“At UC Health, we are relentless in our mission to advance healing and reduce suffering. Patient care assistants are important members of our hospital care teams, and we are proud to partner with CityLink to expand access to this career path. This is one of several programs we have in place to offer unparalleled learning and unlimited growth at UC Health,” Jimmy Duncan, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for UC Health said.

CityLink Center is a city-wide initiative launched in 2013 that provides integrated services, including career training, to help community members find a path to economic mobility, empowerment and a better future for themselves.

UC Health is Greater Cincinnati’s adult academic health system and employs more than 12,000 team members at four inpatient campuses and 65 outpatient locations across the region.

“We could not be more thrilled to be partnering with UC Health,” Dani Watkins, Chief Program Officer for CityLink Center said. “This team has been so incredibly pragmatic in developing a robust training that will be a catalyst for our clients starting a successful career in healthcare at Daniel Drake Center. We are looking forward to seeing how this partnership continues to grow and develop. We’re excited to offer our case management services to our students to assist with distraction and barrier removal, providing holistic support to their career journey.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, CityLink Center assessed which career paths would sustain an ever-changing economy and partnered with UC Health to develop a solution to employment challenges that individuals are facing in our communities. Career paths in the medical field have proven to be the most sustainable coming out of the pandemic. 

“The pandemic exacerbated an existing national staffing shortage in the healthcare industry, and programs such as these can help address the local need for more healthcare professionals,” Duncan said. “UC Health is proud to partner with CityLink Center to enable community members to pursue their calling in a healthcare career while optimizing the quality of care we provide at the bedside for our patients.”

The PCA Training Program was created to address growing healthcare staffing challenges and provide career opportunities to individuals with a desire to join the healthcare field. The program will train individuals with no prior healthcare experience to become PCAs and provide care for patients in a hospital setting, under the direction of a registered nurse (RN). The program provides instruction both in the classroom and clinical settings. Classes are held daily, and instructors include UC Health and CityLink staff.

The goal is to train individuals and, at the conclusion of the program, assess and confirm their clinical competency to ensure a successful start to their career in the healthcare field. Individuals who graduate from the program are also able to pursue certification as a state-tested nurse aide. Students in the program also receive the supporting services that all clients receive at CityLink Center.

About CityLink Center

CityLink Center is one place for neighbors to find a path to economic mobility, empowerment, and a better future for themselves. CityLink supports clients on their journey while they engage with the city’s best services in one convenient location, achieving their educational, employment, financial and other goals. All services are free and confidential. More information about CityLink and its on-site agency partners is available at citylinkcenter.org. For questions or press inquiries, contact Jimae Harms, Development Director, CityLink Center, at jimae.harms@citylinkcenter.org or (513) 357-2000, ext. 1008.