Innovative Public-Private Partnership Bolsters Healthcare Workforce
In 2019, the John Muir Community Health Fund (CHF), a grant-making arm of John Muir Health, supported its first public-private partnership through the Healthcare Careers Pathway (HCP) initiative. The program recruits, trains and provides ongoing support for individuals interested in working in the health care field. The effort began with a training program for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) that doubles the minimum required educational hours, incorporates job- and life-skills training that translates to any setting, and provides wraparound services that extend beyond the time of the training program. Skilled nursing facilities in Contra Costa County, which serve many of the region’s older adults, do not have enough skilled healthcare workers to meet the needs of an aging population, and many county residents need good jobs that pay a living wage in an area where it is increasingly expensive to live.
Sheri Ignacio is a single mother of two, who grew up in East Contra Costa County. Her mother was a CNA and father worked in maintenance at a home care facility. “I was always impressed with the compassion they showed with elderly people,” Ignacio said. She saw an opportunity in HCP’s CNA program when she was laid off from another job. “I had to work very hard, but I think anyone in my position could do this,” she said. “Being in the program – getting things like food bags, gas cards, and having someone to talk to and meeting great people was very helpful and I’m really glad I joined.”
Of the 16 graduates from the original class, 15 now have good-paying jobs and a newfound confidence in their ability to succeed. Read more about Sheri and the partnership in the CHF 2019 Impact Update.