Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Oakton College brings new opportunities for healthcare education to Evanston Hospital

Photo courtesy of Oakton College
Starting in 2025, Oakton College’s new programs will offer degrees in cardiac sonography, radiography and surgical technology in partnership with Endeavor Health.

Oakton College is launching a new healthcare education hub at Evanston Hospital in partnership with Endeavor Health. 

Oakton College’s Health Careers Education Center will open in 2025 at Evanston Hospital’s COS Building. Alongside Endeavor Health, Oakton will offer three new Associate of Applied Science programs in cardiac sonography, radiography and surgical technology. Prospective students can begin applying to the program this summer. 

Gus Granchalek, president of Endeavor Health Skokie Hospital and North Region Procedural Services, said the programs will offer pathways for students to enter lifelong careers in the healthcare industry that allow them to support their families in a “meaningful way.”

“We’re excited to send those folks to these programs,” Granchalek said.

The program’s admissions team is looking for students who have completed the prerequisite courses, which are outlined on Oakton’s website. Granchalek also noted that the programs are not solely for people who have yet to begin careers in healthcare. Some successful applicants may already have a healthcare job but want to try something new, Granchalek said. 

Gabrielle Cummings, president of Evanston Hospital and Northshore Acute & Ambulatory Operations, told The Daily that recruiting and retaining staff after the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge. The pandemic deterred many people from joining the healthcare field, Cummings added. 

Cummings said she thinks partnerships with Oakton and Evanston Township High School will help to create a “pipeline of talent” to enter the healthcare industry, but benefits of the programs might not manifest immediately. 

“That pipeline is starting in high school and college,” Cummings told The Daily in early May. “It’s going to take three to four years for that talent to get cultivated before they can really enter into the market.” 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, surgical technologists, cardiac sonographers and radiographers make median salaries ranging from $51,854 to $78,210 per year in Illinois.

Oakton College currently has campuses in Des Plaines and Skokie. Oakton’s partnership with Endeavor Health will soon expand the college’s reach into Evanston for the first time. 

Oakton College Dean of Health Careers Maribel Alimboyoguen said she is optimistic about this expansion. 

“It’s really been a great partnership,” Alimboyoguen said. “We’re looking at, of course, serving and increasing some of our programming to our Evanston residents, and it all just kind of came into place.” 

Alimboyoguen said she has been involved in the partnership since Oakton began planning the initiative with Endeavor Health in 2021, when Endeavor first expressed a need for more employees in the areas of Oakton’s new degree programs. 

Since then, the two entities have been working together to create avenues for more diverse groups of people to pursue careers in healthcare, she said. 

Granchalek said Evanston Hospital’s employee base is growing diverse, but hospital leaders are still working to reach a level that’s on par with the diversity in Evanston.

“We are striving to have a workforce that looks like our patients,” Granchalek said. 

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