Initiative Identifies Best Practices in Health Care Work Force Development

  Initiative Identifies Best Practices in Health Care Work Force Development

PR Newswire

SEATTLE, Feb. 27, 2013

Case studies highlight organizations investing in entry-level employees while
improving business performance

SEATTLE, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --After working 20 years as a
medical assistant in Group Health Cooperative's physical therapy department,
Leslee Thompson decided to take the plunge and go back to school, something
that would be near impossible without the support of her employer. She was
selected to participate in a unique program offered by her employer to help
her become a licensed practical nurse. The program paid her tuition and wages
while she was in school. In return, she committed to work at Group Health for
two years after she became a licensed practical nurse. She completed the
program in 2004 and has been happily working in her new role at Group Health

Group Health's workforce education program is one of several profiled in a
series of case studies released today by the Hitachi Foundation's Pioneer
Employer Initiative. Launched by the foundation in 2008, this initiative
showcases businesses, including hospitals, whose innovative strategies to
invest in employees benefit both shareholders and lower-wage workers. The
initiative was created to identify employers offering education and training
opportunities for low-wage American. The program uncovered how business
investing in entry-level workers gained a competitive edge and higher profits
through the development of a highly engaged work force.

The Hitachi Foundation turned to the Washington State Hospital Association's
Health Work Force Institute to lead the search for innovative organizations in
the health care sector. The institute profiled 11 organizations and
developed tools other hospitals and health systems can use to follow in their
footsteps. Participating hospitals and health systems include:

  oAdvocate Lutheran General Hospital - Park Ridge, Illinois
  oBassett Medical Center - Cooperstown, New York
  oBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Boston, Massachusetts
  oFaxton-St. Luke's Healthcare - Utica, New York
  oGood Samaritan Hospital Medical Center - West Islip, New York
  oGroup Health Cooperative - Seattle, Washington
  oNorthwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago, Illinois
  oProvidence St. Peter Hospital - Olympia, Washington
  oThompson Health - Canandaigua, New York
  oUNC Health Care - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  oVirginia Mason Medical Center - Seattle, Washington

"Given the challenges facing our industry, hospitals and health systems will
need to find ways to promote the best from all their employees. This
initiative provides the blue print for those organizations ready to take the
next step in investing in entry-level workers," said Scott Bond, CEO and
President of the Washington State Hospital Association.

"Investing in the education of our staff makes sense because they already know
and are invested in the health care environment. So, if they can grow and
advance within our organization than it's a win/win for everyone," said Susan
Meenk, Vice President for Human Resources at Providence Health& Services,
Southwest Washington. Providence St. Peter Hospital was another Washington
State hospital profiled in the case studies.

A key element to the success of many hospital programs was progressive human
resources policies, such as providing benefits to part-time workers and
allowing them to participate in the trainings. Additional findings to help
other organizations start similar efforts are included in a toolkit developed
as part of this initiative. The toolkit includes a matrix that will allow
hospitals to quickly determine the type of project to explore, based on their
own needs, as well as tips for collaborating with post-secondary institutions.

Additional information about the initiative, including the eleven case studies
and toolkit is available for download from

About the Foundation: The Hitachi Foundation is an independent non-profit
philanthropic organization established by Hitachi, Ltd. in 1985. Our mission
is to forge an authentic integration of business actions and societal
well-being in North America. Our strategic focus through 2013 is on
discovering and expanding business practices that create tangible, enduring
economic opportunities for low-wealth Americans, their families, and the
communities in which they reside—while also enhancing business value.

SOURCE Washington State Hospital Association

Contact: Ed Phippen, +1-206-491-8891,
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