Ninth annual School at Work graduation celebrates seven

Posing for a class picture after the School at Work graduation are, back row (l-r): Cynthia Lowman, career counselor, Human Resources; Thomasine Shaw, SAW coach; Paul Patton; Richard Oppong, clinical technologist, Oncology, SRC; and Stephen Trajeski, cook, Food and Nutrition, SRC. In the front row are (l-r): Lisa Imperati, patient service associate, Environmental Services, SRC; Leslie Coles; Connie Mills, patient service associate, Environmental Services, SRC; and Janine Alexander, clinical technician, Medical/Dialysis, SRC. Richard Frazier, food service ambassador, Food and Nutrition, YSC, was unavailable for the photo.
Posing for a class picture after the School at Work graduation are, back row (l-r): Cynthia Lowman, career counselor, Human Resources; Thomasine Shaw, SAW coach; Paul Patton; Richard Oppong, clinical technologist, Oncology, SRC; and Stephen Trajeski, cook, Food and Nutrition, SRC. In the front row are (l-r): Lisa Imperati, patient service associate, Environmental Services, SRC; Leslie Coles; Connie Mills, patient service associate, Environmental Services, SRC; and Janine Alexander, clinical technician, Medical/Dialysis, SRC. Richard Frazier, food service ambassador, Food and Nutrition, YSC, was unavailable for the photo.

Leslie Coles has worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital for 40 years, and on August 16, with the hospital's help, she took a major step to advance her career. Coles was among seven employees who graduated from the School at Work (SAW) program at a ceremony on the SRC.

The seven-month program prepares employees to further their education or training for a career change or advancement on the hospital's career ladder. Coles, a patient care associate on the YSC Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, used SAW to prepare for nursing school.

"I love caring for patients," she said. "I don't think there's anything more satisfying than meeting their needs."

With their managers' approval, SAW participants attend weekly two-hour classes to learn reading, writing, math, medical terminology, communication and computer skills and career planning. The program is free to employees.

Patricia Worthy, RN, manager, Workforce Diversity, introduced SAW at YNHH in 2005. The program became available to SRC employees for the first time this year. "School at Work is a great example of the hospital's investment in our most valuable resource — employees," Worthy said. "Clearly, our employees are committed to advancing professionally and personally."

"When you work at Yale-New Haven Hospital, you can find endless opportunities to move forward," Paul Patton, vice president, Human Resources, told graduates' family members, friends, supervisors and co-workers at the ceremony. "The SAW program is one of those opportunities."

"This program has helped me in my current job and in my daily living," Coles said. "I've gained more confidence and tenacity. I'm ready to embrace the future."