Assists Internationally Trained Health Professionals to Re-enter the Health Workforce
The Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland is an innovative model that builds on the personal and professional assets of immigrants living in the United States to: further address health professional shortages; diversify the health workforce; provide economic opportunities to underutilized individuals as they return to work in the health field; and enhance health outcomes of the entire community.
Welcome Back Center
In 2006, the Latino Health Initiative (Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services) launched The Foreign-Trained Health Professionals Program to facilitate the Maryland health professions licensure process. In 2010, this program became the “Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland,” one of several centers comprising the national “Welcome Back Initiative” network.
The Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland serves any internationally trained health professional currently living in Maryland, with a focus on Montgomery, Prince Georges, and Frederick Counties.
Many highly educated and experienced immigrants residing in Maryland with education degrees and certifications in health professions conferred by other countries are currently under-employed and not utilizing their valuable skills in the health field. The Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland supports the notion that greater workforce diversity may lead to improved health outcomes through better access to care by underserved populations and more effective patient/healthcare provider interactions.
The Welcome Back Center model accomplishes its goals by providing:
- Guidance and support, including individualized case management.
- Academic training, including English as a Second Language instruction and board exam preparation.
- On-the-job practical exposure to the U.S. healthcare system and mentoring at Maryland hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
- Pre-employment services for health-related jobs, career development support, and job readiness training.
- Leadership development for culturally competent transformative leaders.
The Welcome Back Center partners and supporters are responsible for specific activities according to their area of expertise. Together, an effective working synergy is created that would not otherwise be possible.
The Welcome Back Center Advisory Council is a group of volunteer professionals and stakeholders willing to support the goal of the Center by providing advice and assistance to the various Center initiatives.
Resources for Internationally-Trained Health Professionals:
There are various Welcome Back Center Publications including documents produced during the program assessment and design stages when the pilot phase was implemented between 2004 and 2008; resource materials for foreign-trained health professionals with detailed information on steps to obtain licensure in Maryland.
The articles about the Welcome Back Center In the News present interviews with and stories of Center participants as well as interviews to Center Director and Manager. These articles are important illustrations on the work of the Center to assist highly skilled immigrants obtain licensure to ease state health profession shortages and respond to the need to increase the number of culturally and linguistically competent health professionals working in Maryland.
To learn how you can get involved, call 240-777-3168
For additional information on the national “Welcome Back Initiative” network