Health Region and Great Plains College Sign Partnership for Increased Educational Seats

Earlier today, the Cypress Health Region and Great Plains College signed a Partnership Agreement that will enhance the opportunities for Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) educational programming to be locally accessed in Swift Current.

In order to meet the desired staffing levels for the new 225-bed Swift Current Long Term Care facility that is currently being constructed, the Cypress Health Region has undertaken a massive recruitment initiative that will span across several provinces. One of the identified strategies includes the development of additional local educational opportunities for individuals to complete their required training to become a certified CCA.

Great Plains College and Cypress Health Region have a well-established educational partnership that involves a variety of health-related programs such as registered nursing, licensed practical nursing, continuing care assistant, power engineering, primary care paramedic, and others. The college is Cypress Health’s regional college partner and currently delivers part-time CCA programs brokered from Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

A series of discussions between Great Plains and Cypress Health were held to determine the feasibility of providing a full-time CCA program which would help to address the current recruitment needs. These discussions have culminated in an agreement that will see a full-time program delivered at the college’s Swift Current campus, which will begin in March 2016 and end in July 2016.

“Our strong relationship with Great Plains College is a valuable one and they have provided the opportunities for many of our staff to be educated and trained close to home,” commented Beth Vachon, Chief Executive Officer for the Cypress Health Region. “We had identified a need to completely train newly hired, untrained CCAs prior to the opening of our new long term care facility in Swift Current. Today’s agreement signing will allow us to move toward addressing that need and recruiting additional CCA staff members.”

“This is a perfect example of how college programing can meet industry need—we were asked to respond quickly and were able to do just that,” said Great Plains College President David Keast. “We are happy to work with Cypress Health Region and help them meet their labour market requirements for Continuing Care Assistants.”

The agreement is unique in relation to the entire full-time educational program being designed to meet the needs of Swift Current long term care staffing. All of the available seats will be reserved for Cypress Health Region staff. Course instructors will be supplied by the health region.

Vachon added that the initial March 2016 program will offer space for 24 students, and additional offerings will be made available as required to meet the demand for more CCA staff. “As of March 2016, we will have this full-time program running, while at the same time over 60 students will be continuing their CCA studies in the part-time programs.”

Individuals interested in the full-time opportunity must be hired by the health region and registered for the program by February 12, 2016.
For more information regarding the Continuing Care Assistant recruitment initiative and the newly announced full-time educational opportunities available at Great Plains College, individuals can visit the Untrained CCA webpage, call 306.741.1885, text 306.988.1747, or send an email to