MUNCIE- A $3 million commitment from the Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation has been pledged to create job training and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  Specific healthcare focused training will be an option at The Arc’s Training Institute and Teaching Hotel, which is affiliated with the Courtyard by Marriott and attached to the Horizon Convention Center at 601 South High Street in downtown Muncie.  

“IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is optimistic that the partnership with The Arc of Indiana will have a positive influence on the hospital, the participants in training, and our community as a whole,” said Michael Haley, President and CEO, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.  “IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is proud to be at the forefront of such an innovative program.”   

The Teaching Hotel, the first of its kind in the country, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015 and will provide people with disabilities postsecondary educational opportunities and other training to lead to greater self-sufficiency. 

“We are excited about the opportunities that this partnership brings,” stated Kim Dodson, executive director, The Arc of Indiana Foundation.  “Participants at our training institute will complete a rigorous training program with an emphasis on a people first culture.  This specific skill set can aide in improving customer satisfaction which is important in several business areas especially healthcare.”   

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital will be able to work with training institute staff to build on the customer experience training and create a detailed supplementary program that fits the hospital’s needs.   

“The hospital will supply internships and job opportunities that lead to independence and self-sufficiency,” said Ann McGuire, vice president, Human Resources, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.  “Training programs may be designed for opportunities in the supply chain, patient transport, dietary, guest relations and environmental service areas.  This innovative approach will not only develop loyal team members but aid in reducing turnover.”   

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Workforce Preparation found that hiring a worker with a disability is both a retention and employment strategy.  Workers with disabilities have higher-than-average retention rates and company loyalty.  

 “Healthcare systems require a skilled, reliable and stable workforce to provide effective and continuous patient care,” said McGuire.  “However, first-year turnover in the hospital sector (28.3%) is higher than for the rest of U.S. industries (21.5%).”   

“This commitment emphasizes the importance IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital places on improving the health of the communities we serve through education and outreach,” said Tricia Stanley, president, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation.  “IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation is honored to train students for employment opportunities in healthcare and participate in this model which demonstrates the strength and benefit of private, public and philanthropic collaboration.”

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