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Fourteen Surry-Yadkin Works Interns Sign with Hugh Chatham Health as Apprentices and PRNs


Fourteen area students have completed pre-apprenticeships at Hugh Chatham Health and are accepting apprenticeships or part-time positions to continue their education in the healthcare field through the Surry-Yadkin Works program.

For the first time since the inception of Surry-Yadkin Works in January 2021, the program is open to traditional adult students, previously only being open to high school students. Ten of the pre-apprentices, seven of whom are area high school students and three who are adult students at Surry Community College, will be working full-time and part-time at Hugh Chatham Health while continuing their education. Four of the pre-apprentices will be working part-time while they pursue their education at a four-year university or two-year college.

Crystal Folger-Hawks, Program Director for Surry-Yadkin Works, explains, “Our program allows students to participate in a pre-apprenticeship after completing a Certified Nursing Assistant course to try out the nursing field. This allows the students the opportunity to see if this career choice is good for them before furthering their education. Another benefit is if the pre-apprentice does like the career pathway, and Hugh Chatham Health feels they are a good fit, then they are offered an apprenticeship position. As an apprentice, they will learn a variety of work processes through on-the-job training and attend SCC to earn a Licensed Practical Nursing or Associate Degree in Nursing for free while working part-time at Hugh Chatham Health.”

Completing pre-apprenticeships and continuing as employees are Rebecca Allen, Cali Childress, Alexandra Flores-Ruiz, Jenny Garcia, Kimberly Gordy, Paige Gryder, Hailey Rodriguez, Zeuz Narvaez Santiago, Edna Solis-Salazar and Allison Vazquez.

Four Surry-Yadkin Works pre-apprentices working at HCH signed as PRN nurses at the event and will be working on a part-time basis. “PRN” stands for the Latin phrase “Pro re nata,” meaning “as needed,” and “occasionally.” They are Brittany Frausto, Alexa Gutierrez-Portilla, RyleeAnn Poplin and Mattie Wells.

Paul Hammes, CEO of Hugh Chatham Health, said, "There are few greater investments we can make than in our students and aspiring healthcare professionals. They are the future of our workforce, our economy, and a stronger community overall. We are extremely proud to partner with Surry-Yadkin Works – a national model that will make a difference for generations across the Yadkin Valley."

Fourteen Surry-Yadkin Works Interns
Pictured left to right are Kimberly Stanley - HCH Laboratory Director, Jordan Mosley - HCH Human Resources Director, Paige Gryder, Cali Childress, Andrew Tate - HCH Vice President, Ambulatory Services and Chief Practice Officer, Dr. Myra Cox - Superintendent Elkin City Schools, Jenny Garcia, RyleeAnn Poplin, Zeuz Narvaez Santiago, Edna Solis-Salazar, Mary Blackburn - HCH Chief Clinical Officer/Vice President of Care Innovation, Rebecca Allen, Paul Hammes - CEO Hugh Chatham Health, Kimberly Gordy, Cynthia Gonzales – HCH Board of Trustees, Alexandra Flores-Ruiz, Gail Poplin - HCH Staff Development Coordinator, Brittany Frausto, Katee Hettleman - HCH Executive Director of the Hugh Chatham Health Foundation, Hailey Rodriguez, Allison Vazquez, Alexa Gutierrez-Portilla, Kendra Lawson - HCH Life Support Programs Coordinator and Mattie Wells.

This special opportunity is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program and the state’s ApprenticeshipNC program through the N.C. Community College System Office that combines a paid work-based learning experience with classroom academics leading to a national certification. These students will earn free tuition for the Associate Degree in Nursing program at a North Carolina community college to become registered nurses.

The students began their paid pre-apprenticeships January 16 and worked through May 19, 2023, as Certified Nursing Assistants.

For more information about apprenticeships at Hugh Chatham Health, contact the Hugh Chatham Health Human Resources department at (336) 527-7664 or email

Surry-Yadkin Works is the first community-based internship program of its kind in North Carolina, officially beginning on January 1, 2021, covering a two-county region. Surry-Yadkin Works is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College, to create an innovative and unique approach to a regional internship program. The funding is also a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County Commissioners and the Yadkin County Commissioners. For more information about the Surry-Yadkin Works program, contact Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director, at (336) 401-7820 or or visit

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