GW’s Rodham Institute to Launch the “Geriatric Career Builders Registered Apprenticeship Program”

The Program is Designed to Strengthen the Health Care Workforce and Provide Employment Opportunities for Adult Learners and Students in the District
September 19, 2022
Rodham Institute Group Photo Grant

Pictured above: Bishop Deborah Webb Temple of Praise, Phyllis Dillinger, CEO/ CFO of The Washington Home, Ms Kristina Williams Director Community Engagement Rodham Institute, Jehan (Gigi) El-Bayoumi, MD, FACP Founding Director Rodham Institute,  Robert Gilbane Jr. Vice President Gilbane Development Company, Claudia Schlosberg Chair, Workforce Development, DC Coalition on Long Term Care, Tracie Bass Director of Doctors of Tomorrow

WASHINGTON (September 13, 2022) — The Rodham Institute, part of the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences, has been awarded a $713,000 grant from The Washington Home, a charitable foundation, to launch the Geriatric Career Builders Program (GCBP), the first-ever, multi-employer, registered apprenticeship program for direct care workers in the District of Columbia.

The program will bring together employers, labor, training schools, and educational institutions to build a workforce of adult learners, residing in the District, specifically in Ward 5, Ward 7, and Ward 8, to meet the health and support needs of the District’s growing senior population. The program is designed to develop a pipeline for entry-level health professionals that offers the opportunity for career advancement and upward economic mobility.

“There is a major shortage of direct care workers in the District and across the country, which has reduced access to quality health care and has had significant adverse impacts on the most vulnerable members of our society, including seniors and individuals who live with disabilities,” said Gigi El-Bayoumi, MD, founding director of The Rodham Institute and professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “The GCBP provides an on-ramp to high-demand health care careers for adult learners, while filling a critical need in our city.”

"1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East Maryland/DC and the 1199SEIU Maryland/DC Training and Employment Fund are excited to engage with The Rodham Institute of George Washington University’s work on the Geriatric Career Builders Apprenticeship Program.  1199SEIU and the Maryland/DC Training and Employment Fund have experience developing and managing healthcare registered apprenticeships throughout the region. We have witnessed how the “earn as you learn” model of registered apprenticeships assists both new healthcare workers and seasoned professionals begin and advance their careers. Additionally, partnering with our healthcare employers, these programs have been able to close the skills gaps experienced in healthcare settings. This program’s innovative design will train the apprentices, close the employers’ skills gaps, and engage DC residents, offering them a career pathway in a growing healthcare industry."

The GCBP, conceived in collaboration with the DC Coalition on Long Term Care, targets two groups of potential employees including adult learners and students. Adult learners in the District, particularly those in Wards5,  7 and 8, will receive training and employment opportunities for entry-level health care positions in geriatric care and more advanced training to become certified mediation aides. Students interested in the health care field will have access to financial support, ongoing mentorship, and career coaching to achieve their professional goals.  Notably, embedded within the program is a progressive wage scale that ensures that program participants are compensated at higher levels based upon the acquisition of skills and experience.  

“We all have a role to play in the investment in solutions that address systemic issues like limited staff availability to care for our community’s older adults,” said The Washington Home CEO/CFO Phyllis Dillinger, adding, “[Our organization] is committed to supporting caregivers and the critically ill through strategic funding initiatives with valued partners like The Rodham Institute.”

About The Rodham Institute

The Rodham Institute, and institution of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was established in 2013 in honor of the late Mrs. Dorothy Rodham who believed passionately in the capacity for education to achieve social change. The Institute seeks to apply the transformative power of education to achieve health equity in Washington, D.C.  Our vision, according to Dr. El-Bayoumi is to increase the number of Under-Represented Minorities in Health Care Professions, to partner with and support initiatives, programs and objectives of community-based organizations that will improve health outcomes for underserved populations, and to educate current and future Health Care Professionals in Applied Health Equity with a focus on the Social Determinants of Health. 

About The Washington Home

The Washington Home is a foundation that provides funding to entities that create and deliver innovative, compassionate, and well-managed programs to improve the quality of life for elderly and/or terminally ill residents in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Founded in 1888, The Washington Home, until recently, provided long-term care to residents of its nursing home facility in upper Northwest Washington, DC, hospice care to patients in their own homes, and care in the in-patient hospice wing of the nursing home.

In recent years, the Board of Directors of The Washington Home directed a repositioning of the organization by ceasing hands-on care and consolidating its financial resources to be deployed for maximum impact in accordance with its longstanding mission. Learn more at

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