SEIU 1199NW Training Fund Executive Director Laura Hopkins is always exploring new opportunities for our members. So when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Washington, closing down schools, she started thinking about how the Training Fund could help educators transition from in-person training to virtual classrooms. For many healthcare workers, virtual classrooms remove the necessary hands-on training required to earn their certificates, licenses, and degrees.

That’s when the idea of the Virtual Healthcare Institute (VHI) came to fruition. Hopkins and the Training Fund staff and board worked together to create a program that provides hands-on training for healthcare students using virtual reality goggles.

Recently Hopkins sat down with Kaiser Permanente Washington Medical Assistant and SEIU 1199NW Executive Board Member Carmen Diaz for a recorded interview about VHI. This interview was a part of the Kaiser Permanent Workforce Development Week. Listen below and then visit to learn more.