MorseLife Health System and Palm Health Foundation Address Growing Need For Trained Health Care Professionals

Paula Harris

Two of Palm Beach County’s most respected health care institutions have joined forces once again to address the growing need for trained health care professionals as the County’s over-60 population is projected to increase 39% by 2040.

MorseLife has received a generous grant, which will allow interested home health aides to advance in their careers to achieve licensure as certified nursing assistants, made possible by the BJ and Paula Harris Fund at the Palm Health Foundation. Mrs. Harris resided at The Palace at MorseLife before her recent death and her late husband, BJ also received exceptional care while living at MorseLife. They were active supporters of health care initiatives in Palm Beach County, granting more than $1 million from their fund since 2004.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow nine percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Florida employs more nursing assistants than any state other than New York.

“The current pandemic has underscored the shortage of nursing assistants in our area which will only become more urgent as our population ages,” said Keith Myers, President and CEO of MorseLife Health System. “We have a waiting list of aides eager to take advantage of this worthwhile program and are pleased to be working with leadership of Palm Health Foundation.”

The grant will cover the cost of the professional development course and the exam fee, which currently total $650 per student.

“With the support of our donors, Palm Health Foundation provides scholarships for nursing and other health-related fields, with the mission of  creating high-quality care for years to come,” said Abigail Goodwin, Vice President for Grants and Community Investments at Palm Health Foundation. “This gift helps us fulfill the vision of the BJ and Paula Harris Fund.”

MorseLife Health System is also planning to establish the MorseLife Nursing Academy to offer professional development to home health aides, certified nursing assistants and registered nurses. Participants in the academy will attend on scholarships.