Healthcare Leaders Recognize University Health System, 10 Other Providers, for Developing Frontline Workers

Healthcare organizations are investing in their workforce to increase business impact, improve health outcomes, and provide good job

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Healthcare leaders on CareerSTAT’s Recognition Committee selected four healthcare employers as 2017 Frontline Healthcare Worker Champions and seven organizations as Emerging Champions. An employer-led initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, CareerSTAT is a network of almost 200 healthcare and workforce leaders promoting investment in the skills and careers of frontline workers. They support healthcare organizations in developing, scaling, and sustaining development programs by: engaging healthcare leaders in peer- learning, documenting effective workforce development programs and policies, studying the business impact of workforce investments, providing technical assistance on program development, and recognizing Champion organizations.

Now in its fourth year, CareerSTAT’s recognition program showcases healthcare organizations making exemplary investments in their frontline workforce. This year’s 2017 CareerSTAT Frontline Worker Champions— University Health System, Hebrew SeniorLife, Mercy Hospitals and Ochsner Health System—are prime examples of how training and skills development can benefit employees and employers. The seven Emerging Champions are investing in their frontline employees, but striving to expand, sustain or evaluative their programs. CareerSTAT is offering the Emerging Champions targeted technical assistance and operating an Employer Academy for Emerging Champions to strengthen their programs and prepare them for Champion status. The recognized organizations include:

  • Frontline Healthcare Worker Champions:
    • Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston MA
    • Mercy, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas
    • Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA
    • University Health System, San Antonio, TX
  • Emerging Frontline Healthcare Worker Champions:
    • Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
    • The Boston Home, Boston, MA
    • Mercy Health, West Michigan
    • Seton Healthcare Family, Austin, TX
    • Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT
    • UC Davis Health, Sacramento, CA
    • SEIU Healthcare PA Training & Education Fund, Harrisburg, PA

“We commend the 2017 CareerSTAT Champions for their outstanding efforts to develop and promote their frontline. We know these practices can strengthen frontline retention rates, increase employee engagement, and improve performance. We are immensely proud to see these organizations providing their frontline workers with opportunities for career and personal growth.” says Joanne Pokaski, Director of Workforce Development at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. “As an employer-led effort, CareerSTAT knows that investing in the skills and careers of frontline workers is beneficial to employees and employers.”

Detailed profiles of all 11 Champions along with further information on their skill and career development programs are available on the CareerSTAT website. More information about the best practices and programs of all 36 Frontline Worker champions can be found in the CareerSTAT Guide to Investing in Frontline Health Care Workers.

More Information on the Four Champion Organizations

University Health System comprises a 716-bed teaching hospital in San Antonio as well as a network of outpatient healthcare centers. With their growing need for talent, the Health System makes a concerted effort to recruit underrepresented members of the local community when hiring for frontline positions, including non-English speakers, immigrants and refugees. University Health System offers an array of programming and trainings to its frontline staff, including an on-the-job learning and career development system known as ECHO (Expanding your Career and Health Opportunity). ECHO gives frontline workers the chance to move into more advanced roles within UHS. 917 frontline workers and community members participated in at least one workforce development or skill-building program within the Health System in 2016. As a result, turnover is 14.9%, compared with the statewide rate of 19.1% for healthcare organizations.

Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of older adults in the Greater Boston area. Their complete continuum of care encompasses nine campuses serving 3,000 seniors daily, and out of their 2,641 employees, 900 are frontline workers. HSL is committed to growing its employees at all levels. Its advancement programs assist nursing assistants (as known as patient care assistants) in becoming licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. Through the integration of recognition programs, tuition assistance and career coaching opportunities, overall employee turnover has decreased from 27% in 2013 to 9.7% in 2016. In addition, employee satisfaction regarding compensation, training and flexibility increased by 19% in one year.

Mercy Hospitals serves millions of patients each year and is the country’s fifth-largest Catholic healthcare system. Its network comprises more than 40 hospitals (both acute care and specialty) and 350 outpatient facilities. Mercy employs tens of thousands of people in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas, and uses a range of programs to hire, develop and promote frontline staff. The system operates the Lowest Paid Worker Committee which brings together senior leaders to develop and implement strategies that improve wages and career opportunities for frontline workers. This focus has fostered advancement programs such as School at Workâ, tuition reimbursement and education scholarships, an apprenticeship program and a commitment to hire individuals with disabilities and challenges to employment.

Ochsner Health System is the largest private employer in Louisiana with nearly 18,000 employees. Since 2013, Ochsner has adopted a more holistic approach to workforce development designed to cultivate personally resilient employees. Ochsner has also begun actively recruiting young local students and non- traditional job-seekers, including people with criminal records, into careers in healthcare. MA NOW is Oschner’s accelerated, 12-week training program which gives un- and underemployed members of the community, most who had no prior healthcare experience, the chance to become medical assistants (MAs). 100% of MA NOW graduates have been placed in a position and the retention rate of MAs trained through MA NOW is 94%, compared with 84% for other Ochsner MAs.

About CareerSTAT

CareerSTAT is a network of healthcare leaders promoting investment in the skills and careers of frontline workers. It supports healthcare organizations in using workforce development programs to increase business impact, improve health outcomes, and provide good jobs. CareerSTAT promotes innovative practices and policies for advancing frontline workers, produces an array of resources on the benefits of skill and career development, recognizes organizations leading the industry as Frontline Health Care Worker Champions, and supports organizations developing investment programs. CareerSTAT is an employer-led initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and is generously supported by The Joyce Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. To learn more about CareerSTAT and its partners, visit:

About the National Fund for Workforce Solutions

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a national network promoting economic opportunity and prosperous communities through investment and innovation. Based in Washington D.C., the National Fund partners with philanthropy, employers, workers, public and private community organizations, and more than 30 regional collaboratives to invest in skills, improve systems, and generate good jobs. The National Fund supports civic and business leaders in promoting evidence-based practices and policies that build shared prosperity. Learn more about the National Fund and its local partners at

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