The Northeast Medical Institute, which officially opened at 29 Bank St. in Stamford on April 30, is a post-secondary occupational school — something that is unique to the Fairfield County landscape, according to owner Daniel Remiszewski.
“Our closest competitor is Norwalk Community College, which offers various health care training courses every couple of months,” Remiszewski said. “Mine are every two weeks.”
NMI’s courses are designed to welcome those new to the health care field looking for training as certified nursing assistants, phlebotomy technicians, CPR practitioners and the like.
In addition to those already dedicated to a health care profession, the school is also targeting “those looking to make a career change, or who are unemployed and open to something new,” Remiszewski said. “Our training can help you get a starter job in nursing or phlebotomy, where you can get experience and move up.”
NMI can be especially valuable to high school graduates “who don’t know yet what they want to do,” he said. “The turnover rate in college from major to major is significant. We offer the opportunity to get some experience before you go to a college, just to see if you like it. Instead of just going to classes and having somebody tell you what to do, we help our students get experience and see if they like clinical work before they spend all that money at a college.”
Likely one of the youngest persons in the area to run such a school — Remiszewski is 26 — he said his commitment to teaching health care has been practically a lifelong endeavor. He said he was inspired to open a hands-on training facility while working with a cerebral palsy patient as a floating worker at Stamford Hospital.
During that time, he was attending the University of Hartford. He graduated with a master’s in health care administration in the top 10 percent of his class in 2016. Later that year he began NMI as an American Heart Association-accredited mobile CPR and First Aid trainer.
“I traveled around visiting dentists’ offices, fitness facilities — anywhere that needed CPR training,” he said. All the while he was working through the school accreditation process with the state Department of Health and the Connecticut Office of Higher Education with an eye toward opening NMI to teach Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and phlebotomy courses.
“How old I was definitely came up in those discussions,” Remiszewski laughed. “But I went through the process like most colleges would — building a school catalog, which includes descriptions of what will be included in the courses, tuition, policies and procedures. It was definitely challenging and eye-opening.”
Developing curricula “is not something where you go to the state and they give you one,” he noted. “You have to do it yourself, from coming up with the syllabus for the classroom, lab and clinical work to everything else.”
Remiszewski said his interest in opening his own business came from observing his father, Pawel. Formerly an engineer at such firms as Meriden’s Napier Co., Sargent Manufacturing Co. in New Haven, and Bridgeport’s Cosco Products the elder Remiszewski established in 1991 MicroFab Technologies, a custom sheet-metal fabrication, assembly and finishing services company in Oxford, where he continues as owner and president.
Key to both his father’s and his own approach, the younger Remiszewski said, is respect for their customers — or, in NMI’s case, their patients. “People entering the health care field shouldn’t just view their job as their livelihood,” he declared. “They should respect the people they’re working with as if they were their own grandma or grandpa.”
Remiszewski said he chose his 1,250-square-foot space at Bank Street in Stamford — he has an option to add another 900 square feet — “because it’s an up-and-coming city, and so accessible to New York City.”
As opposed to university classes, which Remiszewski said typically are held twice a week for three or four hours, NMI’s classes are held five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for 2½ weeks or from 5 to 10 p.m. for four weeks. The school has three classrooms and one lab room.
NMI’s first classes will begin May 14, and enrollment figures have already been solid, he said.