Groups Unite to Recruit, Train Home Health Aides

Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (FLPPS) and HCR Home Care are partnering with home health agencies and community-based organizations to develop and manage a program to recruit and train community home health aides (HHAs).

Funded through grants from the city of Rochester and ESL Charitable Foundation, the program’s goal is to recruit, certify and train 660 HHAs over the next three years, with an emphasis on recruiting candidates from eleven ZIP codes in the city of Rochester: 14604, 14605, 14607, 14608, 14609, 14611, 14612, 14613, 14619, 14620 and 14621.

HHAs provide care to people after a hospital stay or to people needing help managing an illness. Tasks include helping people with daily activities like getting dressed, bathing and eating; checking vital signs; and reminding people to take medications. The position can be the beginning of a healthcare career and can lead to other positions such as a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.

FLPPS and HCR are collaborating on this program with employers from Rochester Regional Health Home Care and UR Medicine Home Care, as well as the following community organizations: AVS Consulting Strategies, which will provide pre-employment training; EE Pathways (formerly known as Exercise Express), which will assist with candidate recruitment and provide exercise classes and peer mentoring to help new employees become comfortable with their job responsibilities and with the workplace culture; and Wellness Associates of Greater Rochester, which will provide mental health first-aid training.

“Our community faces a dire need for healthcare workers, especially home health aides,” said Carol Tegas, FLPPS executive director. “We greatly appreciate that Mayor Malik Evans, the city administration and ESL recognized this need and put valuable resources behind this critical program. We look forward to working with employers, recruiters and community partners to meet the program goals.”

HCR Home Care President Suzanne Turchetti said, “Home health agencies are coming together in an unprecedented way to meet the need for community home health aides. HCR is excited to work with FLPPS, our employer colleagues and community organizations to build a pipeline of HHA candidates for all three home health agencies, with the goal of providing quality in-home care for people in our community.”

Applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED. As part of the hiring process, applicants will go through a background check and attend a career readiness workshop to learn more about the role. Once hired, HHAs will need to complete 75 hours of training and pass a test to become certified in New York state. HHAs will be paid during the training. All HHA training will be provided by HCR at its corporate offices in Brighton.

Successful candidates who are hired and complete the required training will receive a $1,000 bonus, which will be paid in increments after completing the training, passing the certification test and remaining employed for six months.