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Merit Health Wesley Hospital offers Pathways program

Merit Health Wesley adds another workforce recruiting tool
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - There is a new opportunity for health care workers at Merit Health Wesley to pay off existing student debt.

Employees of the hospital are now eligible for a program designed to help pay down student loans and allow additional education in their careers.

Merit Health Wesley Chief Executive Officer Matthew Banks said the goal of The Pathways program was to support and attract a strong healthcare workforce.

“It’s a great way for us to attract new talent to Hattiesburg and offer support to our front-line workers here in the hospital,” Banks said. “The Pathways program gives options for both registered nurses and med techs to get up to $20,000 in student loan debt getting taken care of just by coming to work in the hospital every day.”

The program is designed to make monthly payments towards the balance of an employee’s student loan, as long as the employee remains current with payments.

“It benefits everybody in the hospital,” Banks said. “We wanted to push it to another level as well. Anyone in the hospital that wants to continue their education, we are willing to give them $5,000 to continue that education each year, to help them to achieve their goals.

“Whether it’s a housekeeper that wants to be an accountant one day, it’s our way of investing in our employees.”

The total amount the hospital will put towards each qualifying employee’s student loan is between $10,000 and $20,000.

“We have to be innovative,” Banks said. “This is just another tool in our arsenal to meet nurses at their needs and really meet hospital workers at their needs across the board.”

Both current and future employees will have access to The Pathways benefits. The student loan repayment program is available once the worker starts as a full- or part-time employee.

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