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Letter: Response to John McDowell’s column
February 27, 2014, 05:00 AM Letter


The Sequoia Healthcare District is making a wise, strategic investment to help provide its residents with the highest quality care and services, now and in the future, by supporting the nurse education partnership operated at Cañada College with San Francisco State University. SF State is honored to partner with communities in the region to provide an excellent, accessible public education (in response to “Special district dysfunctions” column by John McDowell in the Feb. 22 edition of the Daily Journal).  

The Sequoia Partnership provides opportunities for district residents as well. At least 50 percent of the students in this selective program are from the district and many are the first generation in their families to attend college. Inspired by this opportunity, and a highly supportive learning environment, our students achieve an exceptional 90 percent graduation rate and 90 percent pass rate on the very challenging licensing exam. University graduation rates for at risk students are usually less than 50 percent.   

About half of the partnership’s graduates work in the region, at nearly every hospital in the area, as well as the school systems, senior centers and medical offices. We anticipate a return very soon to pre-recession employment of nearly 100 percent of our graduates employed in the district.   

Another nursing shortage is predicted in California, driven by pending retirements and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. It would be short-sighted to cut back now on educating new nurses.  

My colleagues and I, and the students we serve, offer our heartfelt thanks to the people of Sequoia Healthcare District, and the community’s leaders, for their visionary support of such a productive, essential and lifesaving enterprise.   

Mary Ann van Dam, RN, PhD, PNP

Director, School of Nursing

San Francisco State University



Tags: district, percent, students, university, sequoia, state,

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