Texas Health Cleburne Program Helps Employees Further Education
05/20/2009

CLEBURNE, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne isn’t just looking outside its walls for new nurses.

Stephanie Johnson and Toni Pinyan
Stephanie Johnson (left) and Toni Pinyan participated in the LINC program at Texas Health Cleburne.

Toni Pinyan and Stephanie Johnson have each worked at Texas Health Cleburne for several years. But both wanted to return to school to further their careers. Because they work at Texas Health Cleburne they were eligible to apply for the Ladders in Nursing Careers, or LINC, program.

LINC is designed to help individuals who want to pursue advanced education have more flexibility and resources to do so. The program provides shortened work weeks and tuition reimbursement for classes. Participants continue to accrue benefits and are paid at the same rate as at full-time status.

“We are thrilled to be able to support our nurses and other employees in furthering their education,” said Cynthia Plonien, chief nurse executive at Texas Health Cleburne. “The health care field is continuously changing and it is wonderful to see our employees learning and growing along the way.”

At Texas Health Cleburne the program is funded by contributions from the Black & White Gala and the Texas Health Resources Associates campaign, which allows employees to invest back in programs at their facilities.

“What better way to support our community than to fund continuing education for the caregivers who are already dedicated to Texas Health Cleburne,” said Lori Lummus, chairwoman of the 2009 Black & White Gala. This year’s event will be held Aug. 8 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.

Funds will continue to help support the LINC program as well as Gala initiatives such as Mammograms are a Must, Know Your PSA, and Shots for Tots.

“It is a good incentive,” said Pinyan, an LVN who works in the women’s services area of the hospital. She originally went back to school without the program and said the program was beneficial because she could better balance work, school and her family.

“It made it so I was less fatigued and could focus on work without school stress because of the extra day to study,” she said.

Johnson also said that having an extra day off work was a tremendous help. “Otherwise, it’s doable, but it would have been a challenge,” said Johnson, who works in the emergency department. “The LINC program benefits give me a little more time to hit the books. If it hadn’t been for the program I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish school.”

Tickets for the Black & White Gala are available by logging on to TexasHealth.org/giving or by calling Tammy Sims at 817-317-5244.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Texas Health Cleburne, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized with the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Cleburne.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.