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WellStar WGMC donates $75,000 to THINC Academy

Thu, June 8, 2017

WellStar WGMC donates $75,000 to THINC Academy

WellStar West Georgia Medical Center has pledged to donate $15,000 a year for five years to THINC College & Career Academy to support the school as it prepares students for health-related careers.

“At THINC, over 200 healthcare students are expected to enroll in the 2017-2018 school year,” said Dr. Kathy Carlisle, CEO of THINC. “Students learn in a robust, authentic real-world education environment, using cutting edge equipment and technology.  

“However, the most powerful, life-changing impact is the relationships with our partners.  Education is transformed when students interact with employers aligned with their chosen career.  Relationships combined with investments equals a perpetual return for employers, increased enrollment in higher education, and a better quality of life for future generations. We are grateful for the WellStar investment and partnership.” 

Geared for sophomore, junior and senior high-school students, THINC Academy offers relevant and hands-on learning connected to their college and career pathways. Its career pathways include health science, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), mechatronics, energy, business and marketing.

“This is only the financial part of our partnership with THINC,” Jerry Fulks, president of WellStar WGMC, said of the $75,000 gift. “Our hope is for every healthcare student to find a healthcare career for their lifetime right here in our community.”

Markesha Williams, a senior at Callaway High School, has taken classes for the past two years through THINC’s healthcare pathway. She will attend Columbus State University this fall to earn a bachelor’s degree and hopes to attend Emory University to become a pediatrician.

“I’ve always wanted to be in healthcare and have been able to learn even more than I expected at THINC,” she said. “I’ve even been able to job-shadow with a local pediatrician.”

Sara Ann Bryant, a rising sophomore at LaGrange College, graduated from THINC a year ago and said she was impressed by its curriculum and cutting edge technology.

“While I was at THINC, I had an opportunity to work at a pediatrician’s office,” she said. “It became clear to me that I wanted to go into nursing, so I enrolled at LaGrange College as a pre-nursing student and hope to earn my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree there.”

WGMC’s donation will be used to help fund healthcare-related field trips and conferences, equipment for attaining medical certifications and the hosting of area and regional competitions.

Jayne Pauley, a THINC healthcare science instructor, said community donations such as WGMC’s have a far-reaching impact on the health science pathways program.

“Having the funds to be able to certify our students in health-related jobs, such as a medical assistant or nurse’s aid, is invaluable to our community,” Pauley said. “Right now we have job openings in our community that are not able to be filled, and we want to change that.”

Fulks said medical assistant jobs are also “great building blocks” for other healthcare careers. He also said he looks forward to partnering with THINC to prepare students for the rewards and challenges that come from helping make the community healthier.

“THINC not only prepares high-school students with an authentic workplace curriculum that extends beyond a traditional classroom, but it also provides them with ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, communication, attitude, cooperation and adaptability,” he said. “I always tell people that a hospital is not about the building; it’s about the people in it. It is so encouraging that THINC’s philosophy is so deeply aligned with ours.”