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Health First Hosts Project SEARCH Luncheon for Employers

Program marks 5th anniversary of successfully recruiting, training & hiring employees with disabilities

Health First Hosts Project SEARCH Luncheon for Employers Program marks 5th anniversary of successfully recruiting, training & hiring employees with disabilities

February 10, 2012 - Health First will host a Project SEARCH luncheon for local employers on Monday, Feb. 13 at 11:30 am in the Auditorium at Holmes Regional Medical Center (south side of hospital campus). Project SEARCH is a vocational training and employment program that provides real job opportunities to people with disabilities. Featured speaker Susie Rutkowski, Project SEARCH Co-Director from Cincinnati Children's Medical Center where the program began, will discuss the numerous benefits to the community, to employers, and to the individuals who are trained and hired.

"Health First is a strong advocate of the Project SEARCH program," said Bob Walters, Director of Human Resources Operations for Health First. "Since we began the program five years ago, we have successfully recruited, trained and hired more than 40 individuals. We highly encourage other employers to add a Project SEARCH program. Not only does the program provide real job opportunities for those with disabilities, helping them to become productive, independent adults, it brings rewards to our associates working alongside them as well."

Prior to employment of Project SEARCH students, individuals participate in an educational component in the host business where they are taught a range of skills, from employability, to technology, to functional workplace safety, to workplace skills. In addition to the educational classes, students participate in a series of targeted internships and worksite rotations. Job development and placement occurs based on the student's experiences, strengths, and skills.

Students are referred to the program through their schools, family members, or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors.

For more information about the Health First Project SEARCH program, or starting a program at your company, visit or email, or call 321-434-7578.

About Health First
Health First, the area's largest healthcare provider, has been serving the residents of the Brevard County area since its formation in 1995, with roots extending back to 1937 when Holmes Regional Medical Center opened as the first hospital in Brevard County. Today, Health First consists of four Operating Divisions: Hospitals Division, including a Tertiary Section and a Community Hospitals Section; Ambulatory Division, encompassing outpatient services; Health First Physicians Division; and the Health First Health Plans Division.

Health First is the only multi-hospital, not-for-profit health system in Brevard County, including Cape Canaveral Hospital, Palm Bay Hospital, Viera Hospital, and Holmes Regional Medical Center. This means that every dollar that is not used to pay for patient care stays in the county to improve healthcare services for all residents, including those without the financial means to pay. All members of Health First's Board of Directors reside within its service area and provide oversight for a broad range of services and products, including four acute-care hospitals, commercial and Medicare-Advantage HMO health plans, a multi-specialty physician group, outpatient diagnostic and treatment centers, a network of fitness and wellness services, and the only Trauma Center in Brevard County.