|BHS President Honored for Leadership in Innovative Education Programs|
|BHS President David Phelps Honored Twice for Leadership in Education Initiatives
Recognizing Berkshire Health Systems innovative local approach to the national healthcare professional shortage, the Berkshire Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Berkshire Community College (BCC), each used their keynote yearly events to honor BHS President David Phelps for his leadership in developing and supporting a wide range of programs that represent a nearly $4 million investment to date by BHS. The critical shortage of nurses, technologists and other healthcare professionals has been making national headlines for years. Berkshire Health Systems, under Phelps’ leadership has developed and implemented groundbreaking initiatives that have not only helped to bring many new providers into the local system, but has also given current employees significant educational, financial and logistic support to pursue career advancement opportunities, all of which benefits clinicians, patients and the community as a whole.
AHEC, at its annual meeting on May 23rd, presented Phelps, BCC President Dr. Paul Raverta and Elms College President Dr. James Mullen with its 2007 Annual Achievement Awards. According to AHEC, “Presidents Phelps, Raverta and Mullen are being honored for finding solutions that will have a significant impact on our community’s nursing shortage. These presidents brought their institutions together and found creative ways to add more nursing professors, produce more LPNs and associate degree RNs, and provided access to a bachelor’s degree RN program in Pittsfield. They have also found the resources to develop Simulated Instructional Manikin (SIMS) laboratories that will greatly enhance the nursing clinical experience. All three have provided the leadership to make the puzzle pieces fit for the health of the community.”
BCC, at its 2008 commencement, honored Phelps with its President’s Award. BCC President Dr. Paul Raverta said, “This award is presented to President Phelps for his role in pioneering a new model of collaboration between a major healthcare provider and higher education in order to address a critical shortage of nurses and nursing faculty. I believe that this collaboration is unique within Massachusetts, and, perhaps, within the country. In any case, it is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when people come together to make a difference.”
“I am honored that Berkshire Community College and Berkshire AHEC have recognized our efforts in providing the best possible workforce and workplace for healthcare professionals,” said Phelps. “These very successful programs have helped many of our employees to achieve career goals that otherwise would have been difficult to attain, and their educational advancement benefits our hospitals and our community.”