Saturday, May 25, 2024 May 25, 2024
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Bloomberg, Baylor, and Uplift Education Partnering to Launch West Dallas Healthcare High School

Upon graduation, students will be prepared for and guaranteed jobs at Baylor Scott & White Health.

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies $250 million initiative connecting healthcare and education, the organization selected Dallas charter school operator Uplift Education and Baylor Scott & White Health to receive a $14.9 million grant to launch a healthcare-focused high school in West Dallas.

The West Dallas school will open this fall and is one of ten urban and rural communities nationwide to receive a grant. Uplift Education has 43 schools in North Texas with 22,183 students for the 2022-2023 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The charter school network focuses on low socio-economic and underserved communities; 95 percent of its students are ethnically diverse, and 78 percent face economic challenges.

“Uplift Education believes every student in our network should have the opportunity for economic freedom on a pathway best suited for them. We are thrilled and humbled to work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Baylor, Scott, & White Health to grow the next generation of healthcare professionals in Dallas,” says Yasmin Bhatia, Uplift Education CEO.

The new school will be accompanied by a singular healthcare pathway in a second high school in Grand Prairie in 2025. If students choose not to pursue higher education, they will have the credentials and experience to go directly into the healthcare field because of integrated healthcare career knowledge and job training. Bloomberg’s grant will help develop curriculum, necessary resources, start-up personnel costs, lab renovations, and stipends for work-based learning.

The Bloomberg initiative will eventually serve a total of 6,000 students in ten communities, including urban locations in Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Durham, NC; Houston, TX; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; and Philadelphia, PA. Rural areas include Demopolis, AL, and six locations in northeast Tennessee. Each school will be paired with a partner health system that guarantees to hire students who meet graduation requirements at the schools.

“For too long, our education system has failed to prepare students for good jobs in high-growth industries,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th mayor of New York City. “By combining classroom learning with hands-on experience, these specialized healthcare high schools will prepare students for careers with opportunities for growth and advancement. America needs more healthcare workers, and we need a stronger, larger middle class — and this is a way to help accomplish both goals.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are currently two million open healthcare jobs, with two million more to be created by 2031. Shortages at nearly every level have been a constant strain since the pandemic. This isn’t the first time a school district has partnered with a health system in North Texas to bolster the healthcare workforce and provide a lucrative future for students. UT Southwestern launched a school with Dallas ISD to focus on biomedical sciences that has seen explosive demand and growth.

Students in the Bloomberg schools will be immersed in their partner healthcare system, with job shadowing and simulation lab practice leading to paid healthcare internships and professional mentoring. Students will earn credentials, certifications, and college credits to give them full or part-time employment options after high school. Students will be prepared to take jobs like surgical technologist ($56,000 median starting salary), radiology technician ($65,000 median starting salary), or respiratory therapist ($71,000 median starting salary).

“Education is core to our mission, and we are honored to be part of this unique and special opportunity to introduce bright, young minds in the communities we serve to rewarding work,” says Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Peter McCanna. “Students and their families benefit from new pathways to high-demand careers, and we all benefit from growing the number of skilled and passionate healthcare professionals entering the workforce each year.” 


Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior writer for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…