Local non-profit helps veterans find jobs in medical field after service

NOW: Local non-profit helps veterans find jobs in medical field after service

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Kelly Wheeler is a navy veteran who received medical training while in the service. Once she decided to get out of the navy, she knew she wanted to continue working in the medical field but was faced with a challenge. 

"About six months before I got out, I started looking into different programs and I realized that nothing was going to transfer, and that I would pretty much have to start over," said Wheeler. 

This left her wondering what to do with her seven years of medical training from the Navy.

Heros for Healthcare, a national non-profit based in Wisconsin, helped Wheeler land a job as a medical assistant tech at UW Health.

"Then I did find Heroes for Healthcare, which definitely helped me out," said Wheeler. 

Laura Hanoski has been running a staffing firm for year. Hanowski is the founder and president of Heroes for Healthcare.

"We noticed that there was a large gap between medically trained military coming out and being able to work on the civilian side. They literally could not. None of their skills or abilities were transferable." 

Last year, Wisconsin lawmakers unanimously passed a bill that makes it possible for Heroes for Healthcare to make an impact. The national non-profit partners with health systems to get military trained healthcare professionals entry level jobs in civilian health care after the service. 

"These folks have to have medical experience in the military, and then they have to sign a contract that they're going to work part time, and they're going to go to school part time."

The program not only helps vets, but it's also helping hospitals during a time of critical staff shortages. 

"Hopefully we have a lot of response to this. It's brand new, so it's just starting, but we're hoping that it becomes much bigger. We're also hoping other states get on the bandwagon," said Hanoski. 

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