Opening Doors: Healthcare Training Program ‘Changed My Path’

“It changed my path so incredibly,” Yale New Haven Health’s Lauren Andrews says about the Pharmacy Technician Training Program.

As a specialty pharmacy liaison for Yale New Haven Health, Lauren Andrews makes sure HIV and seizure patients get their prescriptions on time, and that it’s correct. 

“I’m the one that’s pulling all the strings behind the curtain, making sure that you get your medicine on time, making sure it’s right, and making sure that you know how to take your medicine,” she said. 

But Andrews, who worked as a lifeguard, in a pharmacy, and at a pet store, said she wouldn’t have the job if not for a chance encounter with an old regular. 

“She told me about a program that had just started at Yale, and it was this tech program,” Andrews said. “And she thought it would be a great fit.”

In-Depth Training

The program is the Yale New Haven Health Pharmacy Technician Training Program.

“It was initially a residency project to kind of pilot this,” said program director Sharee Parker. 

“Our director at the time was very forward thinking about where we were as a pharmacy knowing that we had more open positions than we had well trained pharmacy technicians.”

The 19-week program provides coursework, hands-on experience, and real-world training. 

The 19-week program provides coursework, hands-on experience, and real-world training. 

“They make sure you know the medicines, make sure you know the math of doing everything,” said Andrews. “And then you are in a hands-on environment.”

Many graduates are offered jobs by YNNH, but their certificate is recognized across the country. 

Program Partnership

Through a partnership with the Workforce Alliance, YNNH provides funding and resources for students in the program. 

“Tuition assistance is huge, because it’s one less thing that they have to be concerned about,” said Workforce Alliance career navigator Tamesha Greene. 

“They can acquire a license and not have to be worrying about taking out a loan or any financial burdens that they may already have.”

“One of the things that I see is hope. You see the brightness come back.”

Workforce Alliance’s Tamesha Greene

Through its Health Careers Advancement Program, Workforce Alliance also partners with several organizations that offer training for healthcare careers. 

Greene said one of her favorite parts of the program is helping give people the start they need. 

“One of the things that I see is hope,” she said. “You see the brightness come back, especially for individuals who tried everything else and nothing else worked.”

‘Changed My Path’

Andrews said she never would have gotten her job without the training program. 

“It changed my path so incredibly,” she said. “It made it so that I had the confidence to walk up to people and say ‘I know how to do this.’”

Parker said the opportunities these kinds of programs offer are essential to helping build communities.

“The end result is going to be that change that you really need.”

YNNH’s Sharee Parker

“We have people who want to do the work who want to be productive members of their community,” Parker said. 

“I don’t ever tell anybody that this is easy, but if you want it we’re here to support you. 

“And the end result is going to be that change that you really need.”


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