School at Work program changing lives of EAMC employees

School at Work program changing lives of EAMC employees

(WTVM) - Linda Hamer graduated from the East Alabama Medical Center's School at Work program Tuesday, with the goal of bettering her life and continuing her education.

"I had kids and didn't find the time with being a single parent to finish. So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do so," explains Hammer.

EAMC's School at Work program, or SAW, is designed to encourage people in health care, particularly those in low-wage positions, to go back to school.

It includes course work in math, writing, communication skills, time management and other fundamentals.

"It's a lot of hard work, but with determination you can do it," says Hammer.

10 EAMC employees received certificates tonight for completing SAW.

For eight months, students receive regular pay to attend a two hour course each week.

Graduates move on to enroll in school to receive a degree or apply for promotions.

"We've had 92 students come through in the nine years so far and of that over half of them have been promoted or gone to school," explains EAMCE Director of Education, Karen Gresham.

Elaine Thomas is a 2007 graduate of SAW and now serves as a coach to current students.

Since she completed the course, she has moved up the ladder at EAMC and is currently a Training Specialist.

"I know where they've been, I know the nervousness of coming into the program, but I also know the reward they receive at the end of the program," says Thomas.

In its partnership with EAMC, Lanier Hospital in Valley will begin the SAW course this fall.

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