Healthcare organizations are making critical investments in their frontline workers to improve quality of care, business impact, and provide good jobs 

Syracuse, NY (September 18, 2018) – Loretto has been selected by CareerSTAT, an employer-led initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, as one of three organizations named 2018 Frontline Healthcare Worker Emerging Champions and the only Champion in Upstate New York. The announcement of four Champions and three Emerging Champions coincides with Workforce Development Month.

Healthcare organizations are recognized by a committee of their peers for their commitment to practices that are proven to benefit employers, employees, and patients. This year’s champions have demonstrated a range of practices that support the growth and development of the frontline workforce, which includes everyone from nursing aides and substance abuse counselors to food service workers, housekeepers, and receptionists.

As the fourth largest healthcare provider and the sixth largest employer in the region, the 2,500 exceptional people at Loretto’s 19 locations deliver care to close to 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs in Onondaga and Cayuga counties each year.

“From adult day programs and short-term rehabilitation, to assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities, and the PACE managed long-term care program, Loretto is actively investing in its employees, medical research, and new technologies to improve care in this community,” said Dr. Kimberly Townsend, President and CEO at Loretto.

 Supervisors as Coaches and Champions

Loretto trains managers on the PHI Coaching Approach to Supervision® to develop their ability to provide support, guidance, and build relationships with frontline workers.

“For Loretto, providing workforce development support for our frontline workers is a strategy to improve employee competency and advancement, resident experience, and community impact,” Townsend said.

Loretto has invested in this strategy, expanding the role supervisors have as coaches. With 13 staff members qualified to deliver the PHI training, Loretto is successfully using a train-the-trainer model, which is now a critical component of the orientation process for new supervisors.

Leveraging Partner Expertise and Resources

Loretto also works in collaboration with Health Train to identify, refer, and train people in the local community for healthcare careers. Health Train developed a curriculum customized to meet Loretto’s entry-level nursing hiring needs and offers job-specific pre-employment classes for community members to develop essential employment skills and gain a better understanding of the position before entering a paid training program.

“Each participant who completes the Health Train course is guaranteed an interview with Loretto, and, if hired, receives wraparound services, such as support related to transportation or childcare, to succeed and grow in the workplace,” Townsend explained. “With our combined expertise and resources, Loretto, Health Train, and our other community partners are committed to supporting frontline worker development.”

Supportive Employee Programs

Frontline workers may face additional barriers to employment, but employers that offer complementary support services can positively impact an employee’s path to success.

“Loretto has several unique programs to help employee stability and independence,” Townsend shared. “In partnership with the ACMG Credit Union, Loretto implemented a car-buying program to help employees obtain dependable transportation. Employees receive career and financial counseling (including budgets), as well as loan application assistance. Employees who complete the program and purchase a car make the payments through payroll deduction.”

Townsend continued: “Loretto also operates the WeCare fund, an emergency hardship program supported by employee contributions that is available for unforeseen expenses. A diaper bank offers a free monthly diaper supply to any employee in need. And more than 600 people have taken advantage of a free onsite clinic.”

Investment in Emerging Leaders

And in an effort to increase employee satisfaction, retention and productivity, Loretto also developed a peer mentor program, in partnership with PHI, to offer additional support to nursing staff (both licensed and certified) as they transition into a new role or unit.

Each peer mentor facilitates a supportive and welcoming environment for new staff for 4–12 weeks, based on the employee’s level of experience. Mentors receive a financial incentive, ongoing support, are recognized with special designation on their name badge and in the employee newsletter.

Townsend summarized: “At Loretto, we have a dual mission – to the people we serve each year and to our 2,500 employees. We reach out into the community to hire individuals who have structural barriers to employment, whether its transportation, child care, or literacy. We are proud of our frontline employees and the work we do at Loretto. This year, we are on track to hire 1,000 employees, many of them coming from one of the most impoverished communities in the United States. As an employer, we believe that we have the power to change the future and are committed to do our part to make it happen.”

Now in its fifth year, the recognition program is just one of the ways that CareerSTAT, a network of more than 250 healthcare and workforce leaders, supports healthcare organizations. In addition to Loretto, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System of New Orleans; and Staten Island Performing Provider System of Staten Island, New York, are being recognized as Emerging Champions. The 2018 Champions are District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund of Philadelphia; Dartmouth-Hitchcock of Lebanon, New Hampshire; East Alabama Medical Center of Opelika, Alabama; and Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers in Olympia, Washington.

All seven organizations will be honored in October at CareerSTAT’s Healthcare Connect conference in New Orleans. Detailed profiles of the organizations, 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 43 Frontline Worker champions can be found in the CareerSTAT Guide to Investing in Frontline Health Care Workers.

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About Loretto

Loretto is a leader in comprehensive healthcare services in Central New York. As the fourth largest healthcare provider and the sixth largest employer in the region, the 2,500 exceptional people at Loretto’s 19 locations deliver extraordinary care to close to 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs in Onondaga and Cayuga counties each year. From adult day programs and short-term rehabilitation, to the home-like settings in its assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities, Loretto is actively investing in its employees, in medical research, and in new technologies to improve care in our community, Making Every Day Extraordinary. Loretto: Exceptional people. Extraordinary care. For more information on Loretto, please visit www.lorettocny.org.

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 Healthcare 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: www.nationalfund.org/careerstat.

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 www.NationalFund.org.


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