Published February 17, 1998
Volume 6, Number 2

Health Care Training Consortium Opens Annex
Classrooms, Offices in Hacienda as Burlingame Company Expands

Heath Care Training
Evelyn Hom of San Francisco General Hospital teaches a workshop on prenatal care and birth at HCEN.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor

The Hospital Consortium Education Network (HCEN) has expanded to Hacienda, offering health care classes and training programs for health care providers and custom tailored classes to businesses. 

HCEN is the education arm of the Hospital Consortium of San Mateo, which was founded in 1980 by five San Mateo County hospitals. Most health care professionals, such as registered nurses, are required to obtain continuing education in their fields in order to renew their licenses. 

"It was a way to provide some of the education in a centralized location so that they weren't all duplicating their efforts," says Rebecca Petersen, HCEN vice president. 

Now, 14 Sponsor Hospitals
HCEN has grown to include 14 sponsor hospitals throughout the Bay Area, including facilities in San Jose, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and San Francisco. The number of courses offered has increased as well, from 177 in 1994­95 to an anticipated 450 for the current fiscal year. 

"About 5,000 health care providers took classes with us last year, with RNs making up the bulk of the participants," says Petersen. 

In addition to the continuing education classes, HCEN has also introduced programs to train people seeking to enter the health care field. 

"For instance, we have a ten-month program to train surgical technologists," she says. "These are lay people with a high school diploma and some preparatory college work and they're trained to assist in the operating room."

Today, the organization is the largest provider of healthcare education in the Bay Area. 

One of a Kind
While there are a variety of organizations which offer continuing education for health care professionals, HCEN's variety of classes make it unique.

"I gave a presentation at a national conference in Chicago in November about what we do and why we consider ourselves to be the future of health care education, and there was interest among people from all over the country," says Petersen. 

Petersen hopes to expand into providing healthcare related classes for businesses, covering topics such as CPR and first aid as well as OSHA requirements. 

For more information on HCEN, call the Pleasanton annex at 416-1798 or Petersen at (650) 696-7863.


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