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MassBay CNA Program Providing Skills for the Local Workforce

Monday, July 15, 2019

Mattie Cummings Mattie Cummings
Photo courtesy of Mattie Cummings
MassBay Community College

Diana Cruz-Thomas Diana Cruz-Thomas
Photo courtesy of Diana Cruz-Thomas
MassBay Community College

Melissa Giannacopoulos Melissa Giannacopoulos
Photo courtesy of Melissa Giannacopoulos
MassBay Community College

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (July 15, 2019) — MassBay’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program provides students with the skills they need to care for patients in all healthcare settings including hospitals, nursing homes, and the growing homecare industry, while also providing the local workforce with well-trained workers ready to be hired. According to recent data released by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the over 65-year-old population is projected to increase 46% by 2035. This population will need high-quality healthcare, making MassBay’s CNA program vital to the MetroWest region.

MassBay continues to build strong relationships with industry partners to ensure we are building educational programs to support the communities we serve, as well the regional economy. Bethany at Home, an at-home care company, was founded in 2014 under Bethany Healthcare and quickly became a partner with MassBay. The partnership grew organically after assessing the needs of the MetroWest area, recognizing the rapidly-growing aging population of “baby boomers” and their need for skilled CNAs to care for them.

“I believe one of the keys to establishing a solid foundation in the healthcare industry is having a leadership team who inspires you, believes in you, and empowers you to be passionate about caring for others,” said Jayne Kelleher, Director, Bethany at Home. “Education and compassion are a few of the many ingredients that you need to stay eager, be a team-player, and evolve as a person and a CNA in this industry, because one day that person needing help will be a loved one. Make that time you spend caring for others count.”

MassBay’s CNA program teaches students to perform vital hygiene and daily living functions to patients in their care. They are responsible for positioning and transporting patients, obtaining vital signs, maintaining a clean and safe living environment, and monitoring patients overall health and safety. CNAs play an invaluable role in caring for elderly and disabled patients, providing compassionate and much needed skills in this growing field.

“As an older adult going to college, I found this program and the work very educational, satisfying, and rewarding,” said Mattie Cummings, MassBay alum and current Bethany at Home CNA. Cummings, a resident of Framingham, MA, who attended David Proudy High School in Spencer, MA, found her clinical experience to be the most rewarding part of CNA program.

Diana Cruz-Thomas, a resident of Marlborough, MA, grew up in Honduras and was always passionate about helping others. While working in an adult daycare health setting, she decided she wanted to further her education in different disciplines within the healthcare industry. “I heard MassBay had a good reputation and would teach me the skills I needed to become a CNA. My professor, Alena Adams, was very passionate about teaching us, and it was a great environment to easily gain the knowledge I needed. This program has opened many doors for me. I continue to work at Bethany at Home part-time, as well full-time in a nursing home.”

Melissa Giannacopoulos of Dedham, MA, knew she wanted to pursue working in the healthcare sector when she learned about MassBay. Melissa completed the CNA program in 2017 and in that program she “found the foundation and confidence I needed to evolve my career. I am now in the MassBay Licensed Practical Nursing program, broadening my horizons within MassBay.” Melissa has been employed at Bethany at Home since graduation.

“I cannot say enough good things about our partnership with Bethany at Home,” said MassBay CNA Program Director Alena Adams. “This collaboration has been beneficial not only for the CNA program, giving students the hands-on training they need to be the best healthcare providers, but this is essential to the local community. We are proud to work with our community partners to keep MetroWest healthy.”

Bethany Healthcare was founded in 1991 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston and is an all-encompassing, licensed, skilled nursing facility and residence. In 2014, Bethany at Home, a homecare company, was established under the direction of CEO, Sister Jacquelyn McCarthy, RN, CSJ, as part of their continuum of quality and caring services to the community.

For more information on MassBay Community College certificate program offerings visit:

For more information on Bethany at Home visit:

MassBay Community College is ranked by the Brookings Institution as one of the top schools for value added and earned salaries in the workforce. Ranked #1 for two-year colleges in Massachusetts, #2 in New England, and #16 nationally. The College’s facilities in Wellesley Hills, Framingham, and Ashland house day, evening and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career minded life-long learners. Online options provide convenience and allow faculty to facilitate the learning process. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and strives to meet the needs of the diverse local communities it serves.

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