In 2009, Maureen McNally, Bridget Giovanello and Nora Bucko (Nurses with C.A.R.E.) came to the IIIC with the idea of designing and implementing a Home Health Aide training course to provide the local Irish community with job skills in this growing field. For over three years, the work of these passionate and experienced volunteer nurses has allowed nearly 400 graduates to find jobs and improve their career options. The program has grown tremendously, but with so many classes being run both in Canton and Boston, our amazing volunteers were overwhelmed with the demand and so had to reduce the number of courses they could run. In 2011, Ann Marie Cugno (IIIC’s Outreach & Events Coordinator) introduced Mari-Jo Harney, an experienced nurse and owner of PNPS (a home health aide placement agency), to our volunteers. Mari-Jo offered to run our Boston based courses freeing up our original team of nurses to focus on the HHA courses in Canton.

Mari-Jo, together with her son and business partner, Justin Harney, with their Clinical Manager Jennifer Chadwick joined forces with original volunteer nurse Nora Bucko and our newest C.A.R.E. volunteer, Edel Cummins. This team of five put together the Boston curriculum for the Home Health Aide course downtown. With the continued commitment of both teams, the IIIC are delighted to be able to offer the Home Health Aide course in both Boston and Canton again this fall. We are extremely grateful to Mari-Jo, Justin, Jennifer, Nora and Edel who have given their time freely to train our Home Health Aide students to the highest of standards.

In speaking with Jennifer Chadwick, she commented on how impressed she was with our previous students’ willingness to learn and their commitment to the 8 week course. The HHA course in Fall 2011 was actually Jennifer’s first time training students and she found it a fantastic way for her to share her real life nursing experience with those in the classroom. Many of the HHA students were already working in the healthcare field and Jennifer believes this type of course is a fantastic way for those with real world experience to gain the classroom time needed to get certified. Some of the students who graduated last year have even gone on to secure full time employment with Professional Nursing Placement Services; which offers both short-term or long-term care and companionship to those terminally ill or suffering from illnesses as well as transportation and hospice care.

If you would like to register for this course, please contact Kielan O’Boyle at (617) 542-7654 ext. 42. Additionally, if you would like to discuss either a need for a Home Health Aide for your loved one or job opportunities with PNPS, you can contact Mari-Jo and her dedicated team of nursing professionals at, 20 West Main St, Hopkinton Ma 07148, or (508) 435-4958.

August 2012