H ealthLink International/GCI, Inc. (HLI), a private not-for-profit entity was established in 1994 as an innovative community based educational, training and research institute. HLI was initiated in the State of Pennsylvania, where it started with state approved training projects. The specific objective of the training programs was to assist the chronically unemployed and under-employed to attain and retain employment in the growing health sector where they would be assured a future if given appropriate skills and job opportunity. HLI began by training educationally and or financially disadvantaged adults in technical skill areas that enabled them to earn living wages, become skilled in areas that offer a career path with growth potential and that would afford them the opportunity to contribute to the process of fostering healthy communities.
HLI began training welfare-to-work participants in 1994 with a single training program, The Training for Equipment Repair Technician Assistant Program (TERTAP) later changed to the BIOMED Program, done in affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and MEDIQ/prn. The TERTAP training component has been one of the most successful welfare-to-work training and placement programs in the State of Pennsylvania. In late 1997 an additional training component was added, the Community Health Education Technician (CHET) affiliated with the AHEAD project. Two additional training components were later added: Technicians in Innovative Pharmacy Services (TIPS) and Management Information Systems Technicians (MIST). In 2003 HLI launched the Youth Health Education Initiative (YHEI), an after school program for 9th to 12th graders, to help youth learn early about the top ten health issues that affect youth between the ages of 14 to 25. The focus is on preventable health issues such as tobacco, drug and alcohol addiction, homicide, suicide, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, teen pregnancy, stress, bullying (including cyber bullying, internet safety) and lack of physical activity.
In 2006 the Youth Health Education Initiative was expanded to include a youth summer program :The Healthcare/ Science Career Exploration and College Exposure Program. The goal of the program is to help high school students who are interested in healthcare to prepare for careers within the healthcare industry; to be leaders/contributors to a healthier community and a healthier America. Students are introduced to traditional and non-traditional fields within the healthcare industry; provided information on the necessary steps required to prepare for study within a specific career path, provided work readiness training and academic skill building introduced to and provided with information on the concept of a healthy healthcare worker; and exposed to college and campus life by having informational sessions and visits related to college admissions, financial aid and college preparation..
HLI has successfully setup linkages with major health providers, including hospitals and healthcare centers to provide them with a trained and highly motivated labor force that is skilled and dependable. HLI in affiliation with a number of academic medical centers, trains technicians in various healthcare fields linking communities, academic centers and health delivery organizations into an operating team as an approach to cost efficient/effective healthcare delivery while improving the community’s health status. HLI has incorporated the Youth Health Initiative programs in order to begin the process of training healthcare professionals and creating healthy communities by connecting the education of our youth with the process of building healthy communities.
HealthLink International has initiated and participated in several national and international projects and research focused endeavors from shipping medical equipment and instruments to developing countries, to hosting national and international healthcare professionals, to linking medical professionals researching vitamin D deficiencies, to participating in eLearning conferences connecting academic and professional institutions in the developing world with their counterparts in various countries.
HLI’s ultimate goal is to foster and support sustainable local, national and global health initiatives by linking academic medical centers, industry and communities for cost efficient/effective healthcare outcomes through research, training and education. Our mission is to develop long term collaborations and partnerships to enhance the relevance and problem solving capabilities and capacities of community based healthcare delivery.
HLI proposes innovative approaches and solutions to community-oriented health education programs that will result in enabling consumers to overcome cultural, social and geographic barriers to improve their health status by becoming responsible and accountable for: > active participation of their health care treatment; > partnering with their providers in their health care management; and > proactive utilization of services
HealthLink International (HLI) provides specialized training in nontraditional careers in the healthcare industry. The training areas include: Biomedical Technician (BIOMED), Community Health Education Technician/Nurse Assistant (CHET/NA), Management Information Systems Technician (MIST), Training in Innovative Pharmacy Services (TIPS) Small Business Health Entrepreneurship (SBHE) and the Youth Health Education and STEM Initiative (Healthcare/Science Career Exploration and College Exposure Program. The programs success has been accomplished by partnering with the healthcare industry and creating a network of educational institutions, community organizations and members of the community interested in innovative educational skills training opportunities. Key to the success of the training program has been providing training in areas that offer viable living wages with income growth, employment and career advancement opportunities.
By linking communities, academic medical centers and healthcare delivery organizations into an operating team, HLI impacts and address the issue of improving the community’s health status. As a result, HLI has been invited by other states and countries to replicate our training programs. HLI training also includes additional skills training for medical doctors and other healthcare professionals in patient communications, business management, entrepreneurship and health policy.