Eastern offering allied health courses in Elkins through RCHA partnership

ELKINS, W.Va. – Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College is working with the Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) in Elkins to provide healthcare workforce courses as part of RCHA’s Targeted Health Instruction of North Central WV (THINC) program.

RCHA was recently awarded more than $1.5 million through a Rural Workforce Program grant, coordinated by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to support the THINC program’s courses.

The HRSA grants were awarded to community-based organizations to expand public health clinical and operational capacity through workforce development. RCHA was the stand-alone pick from West Virginia.

“Randolph County Housing Authority is excited to be awarded this Rural Workforce Program grant from HRSA. Without the support from our partner network in North Central West Virginia, this grant award would not have been possible, ” said Jennifer Griggs, program manager for the project. “This workforce training is focused on providing short-term training, allowing a participant to enter the workforce quickly.”

THINC will provide educational opportunities to a six-county region (Randolph, Upshur, Tucker, Lewis, Webster, and Barbour counties) in West Virginia. Classes include clinical medical assistant, community health worker, behavioral health technician, billing and coding, and electronic health records.

Eastern is part of RCHA’s network of community organizations that are supporting and providing the classes. Other partners include Davis Health Systems, Davis & Elkins College, Youth Health Services Inc., Randolph County Development Authority, Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, Workforce WV, and the Human Resources Development Fund.

THINC, with the support of the three-year HRSA grant, will provide more than 250 people access to medical training classes. The program will also focus on training at least 80 individuals already working in the medical field who have the desire to obtain new skills and advance their careers.

Eastern and Strive WV (formerly known as Randolph WORC), which is a subset of RCHA, have been offering allied health courses at the Elkins-based Learning Center since August 2021, and 27 students at that location have already received medical certifications or other accreditations through the program. The new HRSA grant will allow RCHA, Eastern, and other program partners to expand medical course offerings.

“Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College is delighted for this opportunity to provide accessible and affordable training classes to benefit the community healthcare system in Elkins,” said Megan Webb, Ph.D., dean of advancement and continuing education at Eastern. “Our aim is to help develop healthcare workers in the areas of clinical medical assistant, billing, and coding, and electronic health care records to best support hospital staff development and career advancement opportunities. We couldn’t be a more proud partner of the Randolph County Housing Authority to help stabilize and develop the healthcare workforce system in the Highlands Region.”

About RCHA

Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) has been innovating housing and community solutions since its inception in 1979. The agency started life as a volunteer-led program offering home repair to low-income seniors in Elkins.  RCHA’s mission is to promote strong communities and a healthy quality of life in the rural region it serves. RCHA currently employs 26 people in Section 8, Property Management, YouthBuild, and the Supportive Services Department. To learn more about RCHA, visit www.rchawv.org.

About Eastern

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, based in Moorefield, serves six counties in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia and offers academic programs and workforce training. Eastern’s Workforce Education Department, part of Advancement and Continuing Education, offers a variety of affordable trainings, covering agriculture, CDL training, healthcare, and welding. Learn more about Eastern’s Workforce Education Department at easternwv.edu/workforce-education