Virginia Union University Launches Certificate Program to 
Prepare Students to Enter the Healthcare Workforce

April 29, 2021


Media Contact
Justin-Mychal White


Virginia Union University Launches Certificate Program to Prepare Students to Enter the Healthcare Workforce Certificate Program created through a partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

Richmond, VA – April 29, 2021—Virginia Union University (VUU) is excited to announce the creation of a new Healthcare Management Certificate Program that will train and prepare students to enter the healthcare field. The certificate program will help meet the growing demand for healthcare workers needed to provide health-based services in the coming years. The new certificate program was created thanks to a $72,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. 

Beginning in May 2021, the seven-week healthcare management curriculum will provide a short-term, low-cost program that will offer specialized training to help students develop usable, transferrable workplace skills in the healthcare profession. The certificate program is offered through a collaboration with VUU’s Sydney Lewis School of Business, the School of Arts and Sciences, and VUU Global.

“VUU is dedicated to providing education to individuals who were affected by these unpredictable times,” said Ralph Dickerson, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at VUU. “In response to the global pandemic and the increased unemployment rates, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation approached us with an idea and we worked together to achieve a major goal for both parties, and that is to provide educational opportunities in the healthcare field that will lead to sustainable income.”

The inaugural cohort will include 10 students for the 2021-2022 term. The growth plan includes an increase in enrolled students in each healthcare certificate cohort moving forward. The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation funding will create the certificate program infrastructure, and provide student laptops and instructional simulation equipment. Each student enrolled in the healthcare certificate program will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and a VUU mentor who will ensure they complete the program and acquire access to employment opportunities.

“We are pleased to collaborate with VUU to help create the next generation of Virginia healthcare workers through the new certificate program,” said Maureen Dempsey, M.D., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s chief clinical officer. “As part of our COVID-19 relief work, one of our goals is to ensure that individuals, their families and businesses can recover and reach full potential in the years ahead by supporting economic development through training, mentoring and job creation. Programs like VUU’s Healthcare Certificate Program offers interested students’ important knowledge and tools as they enter the healthcare field.”

To enroll in the Healthcare Certificate Program, students must be residents of Richmond, Virginia. Pre-requisites or other healthcare courses are not required for certificate program admission. By adding the new Healthcare Certificate Program, VUU now offers four certificates. In addition, Virginia Union University began offering six new master’s degree and two new bachelor’s degree programs in January 2021. 

For more information on the Healthcare Management Certificate Program email ce@vuu.edu or call (804) 257-5600.  

About Virginia Union University  

Virginia Union University is a premier liberal arts urban institution of higher education and center of excellence for the preparation of students and the development of leaders for tomorrow’s world. It was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. Virginia Union University offers a broad range of educational opportunities that advance liberal arts education, teaching, research, science, technology, continuing education, civic engagement, and international experiences. Visit https://www.vuu.edu/   for more information. 

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation 

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program that provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs.  ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.