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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and Aurora Health Care announced a new partnership–a unique year-long career-readiness program for 20 diverse students.

The initiative is aimed at better preparing a diverse, multicultural class for leadership, career development and success in today’s healthcare workplace. The initiative kicked off Jan. 9 at Aurora Medical Center Oshkosh.

“Aurora is excited to embark on this journey with this group of bright young students at UW Oshkosh,” Amy Rislov, chief human resources officer with Aurora Health Care, said. “We believe it is our collective responsibility to ensure that students are equipped with the skills that they need to thrive in the workplace.”

The program curriculum includes monthly classes on leadership, professional development and how to successfully apply them in healthcare careers. The participating students were selected based on their interest in healthcare careers and their involvement in diverse student groups, such as the Multicultural Education Coalition and Men in Nursing.

One of the special aspects of the program is the participation of senior leaders at Aurora, including Dr. John Newman, president and chief medical officer at Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh. Aurora leaders will share their experiences and perspectives on topics, such as Understanding Yourself as a Leader, Understanding the Art of Negotiations, and Strategic Planning–Setting the Vision, Mission, Values and Purpose.

The program grew out of Aurora’s efforts to build a diverse talent pipeline by providing students with the experience and exposure necessary to successfully pursue a future in healthcare.

Aurora leaders have been working with UW Oshkosh’s Brent McWilliams, interim assistant dean of the UW Oshkosh College of Nursing; and Sylvia Butler, associate vice chancellor, academic support of inclusive excellence, to establish the unique approach.

Aurora’s commitment to this initiative reflects an organization focused on ensuring diverse students starting their career have the added benefit of hearing first-hand about experiences of successful health care leaders,” Carey-Butler said. “These are lessons that often take years to gain in the workplace and is one way to ensure tomorrow’s workforce reflects the diversity of our community.”

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