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These days, administrative assistant Laphen Walrond has a packed schedule. When she's not at BWH managing the calendars for Care Coordination and assisting the nursing director and director of Social Work, Walrond is working to achieve her bachelor's degree through an online program and raising three daughters, 10-year-old twins and a 2-year-old. Her list of professional goals includes completing a master's degree in management and someday advancing to a managerial role at BWH.
"I feel like there's so much I need to achieve," said Walrond.
Walrond joined BWH in January 2010 after graduating from the Partners in Career and Workforce Development (PCWD) program. The program's mission is to help community residents explore health care careers, broaden their skills and continue to grow personally and professionally through an extensive job readiness program. It also provides managers and supervisors with a pipeline of trained, motivated and prepared individuals who are ready to begin careers across the Partners HealthCare system.
After moving to Boston from Ocho Rios, Jamaica, in 2009, Walrond discovered the PCWD program. She completed a competitive interview process and was accepted to the six-week program, which included training in customer service skills, basic medical terminology, organizational skills, money management and other topics.
"PCWD has paved the way for my career," she said. "It was a great opportunity to learn more about my weaknesses and strengths." Walrond has also taken advantage of Microsoft Excel certification and other courses offered by BWH Workforce Development, which works closely with the PCWD program.
Her manager, Sonia King-Green, business manager for Care Coordination, says she knew that Walrond would thrive in the program. "Her demeanor is so infectious, and she's a go-getter," said King-Green. "She's always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done."
Walrond encourages other BWHers to take advantage of PCWD resources, which continue after graduates complete the program in the form of a four-week internship within the Partners system and continual career coaching.
"As part of the program, PCWD staff members check in with graduates and their managers post-placement to assess how they are doing," said Dena Lerra, Career Development coordinator/Virtual Learning Community administrator for Partners Community Health.
Lissi Abreu, practice secretary for the BWH Endoscopy Center, also raves about the program, from which she graduated six years ago.
"The support the PCWD staff provides is tremendous," Abreu said. "It helped get me exactly where I want to be. Now, when I meet current PCWD students, I see other people trying to better themselves and their futures; they're on the right path with PCWD."
Learn more about the PCWD program at www.partners.org/jobtraining.