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Ascension Works with PLTW to Support Career Readiness

Partnership will expand insight into healthcare for nation’s teachers and students

ST. LOUIS AND INDIANAPOLIS – Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit health system, have established a formal partnership in their joint efforts to help students gain skills and experiences that will prepare them for college, careers and beyond. Through this collaboration, they'll empowered students to transform and fulfill the next generation of healthcare careers, with emphasis on the myriad of careers and specialties involved in the complex process of providing healthcare.

Since 1997, Indianapolis-based PLTW has provided real-world, hands-on learning experiences for students and teachers, growing from a high school engineering program to offering more than 14,000 comprehensive programs for students from PreK-12 in computer science, engineering and biomedical science to more than 11,500 schools across the U.S. and beyond.

St. Louis-based Ascension will support PLTW by facilitating student experiences at Ascension’s more than 2,600 sites of care in 21 states and Washington, D.C., as well as international partners and affiliates; hosting PLTW teacher training sessions at Ascension facilities; and contributing to the development of the PLTW Assessment system, specifically including design, incorporation and use of simulations in the testing environment. In addition, Ascension leaders will participate in PLTW advisory panels to share their real-world experience and expertise.

“Students must see the relevancy of what they’re learning and how the knowledge and skills they are developing matter in the real world,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, president and CEO of PLTW. “We’re proud to partner with Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit health system, to expand the insight PLTW students and teachers have into the many career paths in healthcare.”

Ascension and PLTW recognize the importance of preparing more students, earlier, to pursue high-demand degrees and careers. By the year 2020, almost two-thirds of jobs, and nearly all high-paying jobs, will require post-secondary education or training.

Ascension’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Nick Ragone, Esq., recently joined the Board of Directors of PLTW.

“The work of Project Lead The Way aligns well with Ascension’s commitment to building a just and compassionate society,” Ragone said. “In such a society, everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow so they can reach their full potential. We are delighted to contribute to the success of PLTW’s mission by providing real-world context and opportunities for students and teachers to help them build successful futures. I’m excited to share my experience as part of the organization’s board.”

About Ascension

Ascension ( is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2018, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 156,000 associates and 34,000 aligned providers. Ascension’s Healthcare Division operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 151 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 21 states and the District of Columbia, while its Solutions Division provides a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. Approximately 11,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit



Media contacts:


Johnny Smith

Project Lead The Way

Jennifer Erbacher

For PLTW schools with questions about this partnership, contact the PLTW Solution Center at 877-335-7589 or