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County, Farm Workers Clinic agreement addresses nursing shortage

Employees of the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic will have a chance to go back to school and expand their medical education thanks to an agreement with the Yakima County Department of Employment and Training. The agreement was approved by Yakima County commissioners during their meeting Tuesday morning.

David Gonzalez, manager with the Tri-County WorkFirst Council, explained that the agreement makes $13,125 in scholarship funds available to current employees of the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, which will give people a chance to pursue further education in their field.

Gonzalez explained that the scholarships will allow those people who currently work as nursing assistants to go back to school to become a medical assistant.

Gonzalez said the scholarship program stems from a panel that was convened by the county approximately one year ago. He said the panel looked at identifying critical needs in the area, and one of those needs was addressing the nursing shortages.

"We have a number of projects we're doing with area hospitals," Gonzalez said, noting that the agreement with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is just one of many projects it has that addresses the need for more medical personnel.

The agreement approved by the commissioners is for a six-month period that began March 15 and will continue through Sept. 30.

. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at eolmstead@eaglenewspapers.com

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