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Providing Opportunity For Students To Explore Exciting Careers In High-Growth/High-Demand Healthcare Sector

Sponsored by Hartford HealthCare, the Pathway Will Result in Students Graduating with Industry-Recognized Credentials to Expand Students’ Career and College Options

New for the 2021-22 academic year, the Allied Health (AH) pathway at Hartford Public High School (HPHS) sponsored by Hartford HealthCare will offer students a career-themed learning experience by complementing classroom instruction with work-based learning (e.g., internships, job shadowing) and a work readiness curriculum. The combination presents a practical approach to learning in ways that afford students a range of choices for postsecondary success.

Education nonprofit ReadyCT, a long-time partner of HPHS, will provide the staffing for work readiness instruction and, by leveraging existing collaborations, will also secure high-quality work-based learning experiences for students throughout the year. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, welcomes the addition.

“Our mission at Hartford Public Schools is to provide all our students with the learning and support they need to succeed in school and in life,” said Torres-Rodriguez. “One of the key strategies of our Three-Year Strategic Operating Plan is to increase support for students transitioning into college or career. Our students have told us they want more real-world experiences. That is why this career-connected pathway, Allied Health, at Hartford Public High School, is so important.”

Underscoring the importance of partnerships, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin offered praise to all connected to the new pathway launch.  “Building strong connections between our state’s flagship institutions like Hartford HealthCare and our schools is exactly the kind of workforce development that creates lifelong career opportunities for our students,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “I want to thank ReadyCT for pursuing and facilitating this kind of partnership in Hartford, and I am very grateful to Hartford HealthCare and Hartford Public Schools for working together to make this program a reality for our students this year.”

This is the second career pathway at HPHS, joining the existing Engineering & Green Technology (EGT) pathway, similarly supported by ReadyCT. Students at HPHS can choose to pursue either pathway or opt for a general course of study. Rodrigo Fabian, a rising sophomore, is eager to pursue the Allied Health pathway.

“I’m really excited about this Allied Health opportunity,” said Rodrigo. “I won’t know for sure until I’m finished, but I’m interested in becoming a registered nurse or maybe an ultrasound technician. Both of those careers are involved in prevention and diagnosis and helping people before they have much bigger problems. “For college and for my career, graduating high school with industry-recognized credentials will be a big help.”

These industry-recognized credentials are earned in sequence and include First Aid/CPR/AED, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Patient Care Technician. The AH pathway is being designed so that students can be dually enrolled, i.e., they can earn college credit through coursework during high school. For those not directly entering the workforce, this can help to defray the cost of higher education.

HPHS Principal Flora Padro believes Rodrigo and other HPHS students will thrive in the environment. “Every student in the pathway, regardless of career or college goals, will have the chance to leave high school with a set of industry-recognized credentials as well as work-based learning experiences,” she said. “Those are real and tangible things that engage students. They make learning relevant and help every student see their potential.” Both the Allied Health and EGT pathway at HPHS are based on the NAF model, which, for each pathway, creates a structured learning community within a school where students follow a rigorous, career-themed curriculum that is informed by an industry advisory board (IAB). Each IAB is composed of business and civic leaders and serves as an essential bridge between school and the workplace; IAB members collaborate with educators to inform curricula and help organize work-based learning activities while also giving students the opportunity to build relationships and learn from successful adults in the business world. For this IAB, the board chair will be Hartford Healthcare Vice President for Human Resources-Hartford Region, Melanie Tucker.

“I could not be more proud to be a part of this important initiative. Hartford HealthCare is honored to invest in our children and in our communities. Together, we will create a new path for them that paves the way to a successful future and at the same time, helps to revitalize Connecticut,” said Jeffrey A. Flaks, President and CEO, Hartford HealthCare. “This is core to our mission of improving the health and healing of the people and communities we serve. This type of accelerated education in allied health does more than allow students to participate in real-world experiences, it could change the entire trajectory of the lives of students.”

The business-education partnership not only creates much-needed talent pipelines but also bolsters student outcomes, particularly for low-income students, disproportionately represented by students of color. At HPHS, 79% of students are deemed low-income (based on students’ eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch), and 84% of students identify as Black or Hispanic/Latino.

“Students in our schools do have challenges to overcome, and we do have students who come to us at risk for not graduating,” said Padro. “But the research shows that students who follow and complete a NAF career pathway are 10% more likely to graduate than their non-NAF classmates, and there is no denying the long-term impact of a high school diploma. It is more than a formal document. It is something that offers more job and earning possibilities. It lowers the likelihood of incarceration. It can break the poverty cycle.”

“This is an exciting and new opportunity for our HPHS Allied Health students that will ensure they graduate prepared to transform our world,” said Torres-Rodriguez. “I want to thank all our students, staff and district leaders, and our partners at Hartford Healthcare and Ready CT for supporting the vision for this career-themed pathway.” Of the impact on students, Flaks said, “This educational opportunity is one that can help students in our community build the life they want. Hartford HealthCare is extraordinarily happy to be involved with it.”

More information about the Allied Health pathway at HPHS sponsored by Hartford HealthCare can be found by visiting

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About Hartford HealthCare: Hartford HealthCare is Connecticut’s only truly integrated healthcare system. With 33,000 colleagues, $4.3 billion in operating revenue and a medical staff of 4,000 providers, the system offers the full continuum of care with seven acute-care hospitals, the state’s longest-running air-ambulance service, behavioral health and rehabilitation services, a physician group and clinical integration organization, skilled-nursing and home health services, and a comprehensive range of services for seniors, including senior-living facilities. To learn more, visit