Orlando Health Launches Preferred Education Program

New college program means no out-of-pocket costs for team members

Orlando, FL (November 12, 2020) Orlando Health team members who want to pursue an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or certificate at Valencia College, can do so without incurring any out-of-pocket costs. Effective December 1, 2020, the healthcare system will launch its Preferred Education Program which allows team members to attend Valencia College and pay nothing upfront. Orlando Health will pay 100 percent of the cost of tuition and books directly to the college, up to the annual cap limit for full-time and part-time team members.

“Team members are the foundation of everything we do, so investing in their future is exceptionally important to us,” said Joy Sylvester, corporate director of human resources for Orlando Health. “Our new program removes what may be a financial barrier to individuals who want to pursue additional education; making it easier for them to reach career and life goals.”

Under the new Preferred Education Program, which is administered by Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions,  team members can pursue degrees or certificates in more than 120 Valencia College programs including nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, respiratory care, emergency medical technology, health services administration and food services management. Team members will also be able to receive one-on-one support from Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions academic coaches, who will help guide them through every step of their academic journey.

Valencia’s flexible online courses make it easy for team members to balance their careers, personal lives, and learning whether they work at an Orlando Health facility in Orlando, St. Petersburg, Ocala Okeechobee or any of the organization’s more than 400 offices, hospitals and care centers.

About Orlando Health

Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $6.8 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States.

Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for its pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center in Pinellas County. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health is a statutory teaching system that pioneers life-changing medical research. The 3,200-bed system includes 15 wholly-owned hospitals and emergency departments; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility,

home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with CareSpot Urgent Care. Nearly 4,200 physicians, representing more than 80 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs nearly 22,000 team members. In FY19, Orlando Health served nearly 150,000 inpatients and nearly 2.7 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided more than $760 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at

About Valencia College

Serving more than 76,000 students at nine campuses and training centers across Central Florida, Valencia College is recognized as one of the top community colleges in the nation. The college offers a variety of associate and bachelor’s degrees and short-term training programs, with industry-leading rates of graduation, transfer and job placement, as recognized by the Aspen Institute, Achieving the Dream and other national organizations.

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