KeyBank Foundation supports FLH Tuition Buy Back program

Finger Lakes Health
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital

FINGER LAKES — The KeyBank Foundation has made an $18,000 donation in support of the Finger Lakes Health Tuition Buy Back program. Launched in November 2020, the program provides eligible FLH employees in job categories including Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs to BSNs) and Medical Technologists with assistance in repaying student loan debt. 

The Tuition Buy Back program is designed to provide access to a career path continuum that offers opportunity for professional advancement and financial well-being and security for individuals in our community who otherwise may not have the financial resources to pursue these positions. Additionally, the program will enhance the recruitment and retention of vital health care employees in key positions that have been historically difficult to fill and that have experienced high levels of turnover, most especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the notification email, Elizabeth Gurney, director of corporate philanthropy at KeyBank, highlights the synergy of the Tuition Buy Back program and KeyBank Foundation’s mission, “Key is committed to the communities it serves and makes philanthropic investments in organizations and programs that advance social, racial, and environmental equity by investing in low-to-moderate income individuals and families.  The Foundation’s mission is advanced through its three funding priorities – Neighbors, Education, Workforce – and through Community Service.  Your program reflects this mission, and we wish you well in your endeavor.”

To date, 22 FLH employees have enrolled in the Tuition Buy Back program. Chad Hoffman-Fragale, VP of human resources at Finger Lakes Health, leads the program and has high hopes for its success. He says, “What we hear most often from healthcare professionals that have graduated within the last five years is that student loan debt can be onerous. The Tuition Buy Back program will offer professional mobility and financial security for the recipients, as they will be more likely to pursue advanced degrees if they are not faced with years of paying off burdensome school debt.” 

Hoffman-Fragale adds, “We are anticipating that this program will reduce turnover and vacancy rate of RNs and LPNs, since the potential of getting their student loans paid off is very enticing. Our entire organization and patients benefit when nursing positions are filled and turnover is reduced. Finally, the more RNs and LPNs we hire directly means less reliance on traveling nurses. These employees become ensconced in the community, as neighbors supporting local businesses, participating in community groups and advocating for our region. Most importantly, we can truly have community members caring for community members.”

For more information about the Tuition Buy Back program and current career opportunities at Finger Lakes Health, contact Human Resources: 315-787-4039. To make a donation in support of the program go to: https://www.flhealth.org/make-a-donation/make-a-donation-form and add a note in the comment section that the gift is for the "Tuition Buy Back program."