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Inspired by a belief in the power of education to shape people’s lives, Gary and Shelly Henriott have given a $100,000 gift to IU Health Foundation to support the west central region’s career center. The center, which has a strong focus on creating pathways into healthcare, prepares entry-level employees for skilled careers in hospitals.
As a retired teacher, Shelly says focusing on an education program was an easy choice, and Gary adds that his decades of experience in business and on nonprofit boards has affirmed that investing in people pays off both for the people involved and the organizations they are a part of.
The Henriotts’ gift will provide scholarships for entry-level IU Health Arnett Hospital team members – such as those who work in environmental services and food preparation – to participate in the career center's Pathways into Healthcare program. Ten selected employees will receive their regular pay and benefits during the 30-week course even though half of their time will be spent receiving the technical training needed for them to become certified medical assistants. Additionally, all course costs, supplies and certifications will be covered. Future cohorts in the program will have the opportunity to train for other often-understaffed roles such as X-ray techs, pharmacy techs and surgical techs.
In Gary’s role as a member of the boards of the IU Health West Central Region and IU Health Foundation, and as chairman of his family’s insurance, risk management and employee benefits company – the nearly 60-year-old Henriott Group Inc. – Gary says he understands that like virtually every business across the nation, IU Health is experiencing higher-than-desired turnover and having problems finding qualified employees.
By training employees for better careers, he says, IU Health not only will win long-term team members but also will benefit from a cohort of employees who are interested in doing more than simply earning a paycheck. Gary says he and Shelly heard this desire loud and clear when they attended a gathering for the first cohort of program participants.
“What we heard from the candidates is, ‘I want to do more. I want to be able to have more of an impact,’” Gary recalls.
Shelly notes that one woman who was accepted into the program was so enthusiastic about it that she applied without realizing she would receive full-time pay. “She was prepared to do it without the half-time allowance,” Shelly remembers. “She was shocked when she found out she was going to get paid for full time.”
As proud Purdue University graduates and Lafayette residents, the Henriotts are excited by the program’s collaboration with Purdue University Global, which will support the online training and allow participants to complete in weeks coursework that usually would take months. Adding to the impact of their gift is the fact that their donation is being matched by the IU Health Foundation.
Longtime community volunteers and contributors, the Henriotts say they see the IU Health Arnett program having an impact that goes well beyond the hospital to address deeper societal issues. By equipping people to overcome challenging circumstances, Gary says, it can contribute to the overall health and well-being of individuals and communities and help to address cultural inequities.
IU Health’s desire to have a meaningful impact on the factors that affect their community and the state is a big part of what inspires him and Shelly to support the IU Health Foundation, he adds.
“I will tell you, that I’m really, really, really excited about the IU Health system’s goals around the social determinants of health,” Gary says. “I’m proud of the system and their audacious goals.”
If you’d like to support IU Health professional development in the west central region, contact IU Heath Foundation Director of Philanthropy Julie Paolillo at 765.429.7525.