A LEADING health services company in Donegal is developing an innovative Healthcare scholarship with secondary schools in the county.
Optum, which established its operation in Letterkenny in 1999, with 30 employees under the ‘Pacificare’ brand employs almost one thousand people today at its new state of the art facility in the town.
Details of the new programme were unveiled at the Optum Ireland Third Level awards in Letterkenny on Thursday evening last.
In his address Mr Padraig Monaghan, CEO, Optum Ireland, noted that very few young people in Donegal get to go to college to become doctors or pharmacists or dentists due to the cost involved. He added that the drop-out rate for students at third level is higher than average in the county due to cost pressure and travelling away from home.
“At Optum we are developing a second level Healthcare scholarship with secondary schools in Donegal to start to help to resolve this issue and support our young people to access these professions. The programme will also promote general healthcare courses in the region such as the excellent range of courses between LYIT and Ulster University. LYIT will be a strong partner in this programme which is another example of the relationship we have and are developing. We are still working through the detail and I plan to announce the programme early in 2018,” Mr Monaghan said.
The Optum CEO said that both the company and Letterkenny IT were committed in helping to create the Healthcare workers of the future.
“I would like to see more students doing Healthcare and science at third level and remaining in the region working for companies like Optum and supporting the healthcare needs of the region.
“I want to reward these students here tonight and I want to ask everyone in this room to promote Healthcare and Science studies at third level so we can get more students engaged to support the growing number of healthcare jobs and the healthcare needs of Donegal into the future. Both LYIT and Optum are deeply committed to this and I look forward to developing the partnership over the coming years to deliver the best for our young people in Donegal,” he added.
Optum currently employ a number of graduates of LYIT amongst its work-force in Letterkenny.
There was a total of twenty award winners on Thursday night.
This is John's first trip to the World Championships where he will come up against full-time professionals.
The Optum sponsorship scheme will provide valuable information on healthcare courses and career pathways in the region