Mastery Schools, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Announce Innovative Healthcare High School to Address Local Healthcare Workforce Shortages with Support from Bloomberg Philanthropies

Published on

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Mastery Schools announced today an unprecedented partnership to design a high school that will help prepare students for well-paying careers in healthcare and address local education and healthcare talent needs. Through this initiative from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mastery Hardy Williams High School will be revamped to fully integrate healthcare career knowledge and job-training with a high-quality, well-rounded high school experience for students in Philadelphia, graduating students directly into high-demand healthcare jobs at CHOP with family-sustaining wages.

The program will open in September 2025 and will serve approximately 620 students in grades 7-12 at capacity. The program is part of a first-of-its-kind $250 million initiative led by Bloomberg Philanthropies that is connecting healthcare and education systems to create new high schools in 10 urban and rural communities across the country including: Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Durham, NC; Houston, TX; Nashville, TN; Demopolis, AL and Northeast TN (six locations). The schools will collectively serve nearly 6,000 students at full capacity.

Supported by a $19.6 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies, CHOP and Mastery Schools will co-develop the high school curriculum, which will offer robust academic programming, specialized healthcare classes, work-based learning, and the opportunity to earn industry-valued credentials and certifications along with traditional high school learning and diplomas. As CHOP is a leading employer in Philadelphia, this initiative will create opportunities for students to gain direct work experience and access to attractive jobs across the system following graduation. This includes careers in clinical care (certified medical assistant), hospital operations (certified registered central service process technician, also known as sterile processing technician) and healthcare administration (Comp TIA IS support professional certificate), which are particularly needed in Philadelphia.

“For too long, our education system has failed to prepare students for good jobs in high-growth industries,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP and 108th mayor of New York City. “By combining classroom learning with hands-on experience, these specialized health-care high schools will prepare students for careers with opportunities for growth and advancement. America needs more health care workers, and we need a stronger, larger middle-class –and this is a way to help accomplish both goals."

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an average of 12.6% job growth across all other U.S. industries through 2031, the rate for allied healthcare roles is exponentially higher. Despite inflation, the labor market remains incredibly competitive, with shortages in every area from direct patient care to healthcare operations to administration. Many of these jobs pay family-sustaining wages, provide clear paths to economic mobility, and are resilient to automation or outsourcing. Further, many do not require a four-year degree but offer a path to grow careers through continued education.

“There has never been a more pressing time for our local communities to have access to high-quality healthcare, and central to that is a well-trained healthcare workforce,” said Madeline Bell, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “As Philadelphia area schools look for innovative ways to foster career preparation, we are thrilled to be working with Mastery Schools to prepare today’s students for what’s next and retain graduates right here in our community for these important jobs.”

“Preparing students to pursue their dreams and achieve postsecondary success is core to everything we do at Mastery Schools,” said Dr. Joel D. Boyd, CEO of Mastery Schools. “By equipping students with the knowledge, experience, and confidence they need to enter the workforce and guaranteeing job placement with one of Philadelphia's top-ranked employers, this partnership will benefit our students, families, and communities in incredibly meaningful ways for years to come.“

CHOP and Mastery School’s missions share many fundamental tenets, the most important being a commitment to building healthy futures for all children – regardless of age, background or socioeconomic status. As the 6th most densely populated city in the U.S., Philadelphia has a 22% poverty rate, with 10 of its 20 largest non-governmental employers in healthcare. The announcement of this partnership represents an exciting new chapter, providing youth in West and Southwest Philadelphia the information, experience, confidence, skills, credentials, and relationships needed to excel in the healthcare workforce and/or post-secondary education.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ investment will support school start-up costs including personnel needs, classroom and lab renovations, and other work-based learning requirements. Mastery Hardy Williams High School will be specifically designed to provide traditional academic courses based on state graduation requirements, as well as specialized healthcare classes co-taught by CHOP employees using the co-designed curricula. Students will also engage in immersive work-based learning at CHOP. In ninth and 10th grades, students will participate in job-shadowing and practice their skills in simulation labs; starting in 11th grade, students will have access to paid healthcare internships and professional mentoring, among other work-based learning experiences. High schools will also offer well-rounded, co-curricular programs based on local interest including but not limited to arts, physical education, and affinity group activities.

Hardy High is, and will continue to be, a city-wide admission charter school—approximately 50% of families come from within the enrollment catchment area, with most of these families coming from Hardy Elementary. The other half come from across the city. As neighborhood anchor institutions, CHOP and Mastery will use their networks of community leaders and partners to amplify this unique opportunity to potential participants across the city. Mastery will mobilize its Mastery Parent Action Team and families of the more than 10,000 students served to date in West and Southwest Philadelphia as well as enhance its outreach to families in the co-located elementary school to inform them about this new healthcare-focused grades 7-12 model. Mastery will pair these efforts with a citywide recruitment strategy including information sessions, community events, mixed media campaigns, and citywide school fairs over the next year.

A recording of today’s announcement is available here.

Contact: Joey McCool Ryan, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, (267) 258-6735 or

Next Steps