Corewell Health Ludington Hospital Celebrates Leapfrog A Grade and Launches Pioneering RN Apprentice Program

LUDINGTON, MI – Corewell Health Ludington Hospital has recently achieved significant milestones, as highlighted in an interview on 102.7 WMOM and Hot Country Hits 99.9. Drew Dostal, President of Corewell Health Ludington and Gerber in Fremont, and Meleah Mariani, Chief Nursing Officer, discussed the hospital’s recent “A” grade for hospital safety from The Leapfrog Group and the launch of the first-ever pre-licensure nurse apprentice program in the country.

A Leap Toward Patient Safety Corewell Health Ludington Hospital earned the esteemed “A” Hospital Safety Grade for fall 2023, marking its fifth consecutive achievement of this grade. The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit that sets standards for excellence in patient care, recognizes hospitals for their achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and errors. This grade is based on up to 30 national performance measures from sources like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Dostal expressed pride in this accomplishment, emphasizing it as a testament to the hospital’s commitment to safety, quality, and patient experience.

Innovative RN Apprentice Program Mariani discussed the groundbreaking RN Apprentice Program, a collaborative effort between Corewell Health Ludington Hospital, West Shore Community College, Michigan Works! West Central, and the US Department of Labor Michigan Department of Apprenticeship. This program, a response to the critical shortage of nurses, offers a combination of classroom instruction for an associate’s degree in nursing and practical on-the-job training. Apprentice nurses work 24 hours each week with a nurse mentor at Corewell Health Ludington Hospital, receiving support from Michigan Works! to address barriers like childcare, transportation, and housing.

The program, currently with two nurse apprentices, aims to create an accessible pathway to registered nurse licensure. It includes requirements such as a high school diploma or equivalent, enrollment in the nursing program at West Shore Community College, and various life support certifications. This initiative, conceived by Shelley Boes, director of nursing at West Shore Community College, in collaboration with Mariani and Janis Kerazim of the Workforce Intelligence Network, represents a significant step forward in addressing rural nursing shortages and inspiring future nurses.

A Future Vision for Healthcare These developments at Corewell Health Ludington Hospital reflect a broader vision to make healthcare more equitable, affordable, and exceptional. The hospital’s commitment to patient safety and innovative educational approaches positions it as a leader in addressing healthcare challenges and preparing the next generation of nursing professionals​​​​.