Allied Health Programs on Upswing at Genesee

Despite changes in the health care industry and public confusion over health care job trends, Genesee Community College's four allied health care degree programs are showing increases in enrollment, Dean of Math, Science and Career Education Michael S. Stoll reported to the Board of Trustees this evening.Dean Stoll and the four health care program directors - Betty P. Lapp (Nursing), Peggy C. Kerr (Physical Therapist Assistant), Mary K. Hartman (Occupational Therapy Assistant), and Ronald M. Jacobs (Respiratory Care) - told trustees that the programs attract students of all ages and a variety of backgrounds. More students are interested in these four programs than at any time in the last half-decade, Dean Stoll said."We still see students in their late teens and early twenties entering the health care professions," Dean Stoll said. "But increasingly, we see men and women entering health care as second careers."Peggy C. Kerr, Professor and Director of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, recounted the story of a student whose spouse had recently retired: "They wanted to move south. So our student received got her degree and passed her licensing examination, so she could practice anywhere in the nation. She and her husband moved to a southern state, where the starting PTA salaries are very high."The College's Nursing Program - the oldest and largest of Genesee's health care programs - enrolled 73 students this fall, a full class. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program enrolled 20 students, while the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program enrolled 13 students. Respiratory Care enrolled a full class of 25 students."There are opportunities in every one of these fields, and each of these health care professions is facing shortages of qualified personnel in the years ahead," Dean Stoll said.Individuals interested in learning more about the College's health care programs may call 345-6800.