Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Building an Infrastructure to Train Hispanic Health Care Workers

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Building an Infrastructure to Train Hispanic Health Care Workers

Article excerpt

In Americas business world corporations protect their information and talent and are loath to share best practices or training strategies with their competitors. Coca-Cola keeps its secret recipe in a vault.

Health care is the exception.

"When I first came to health care I came from the consulting world and I wasn't aware of the spirit of cooperation that takes place in workforce development. It's a little bit different from anything I have seen in business," says Jan Hunter, program director at CareerSTAT, a project of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Jobs for the Future. "In the health care arena, organizations are more open to partnering to ensure there are plenty of workers available."

CareerSTAT, now in its fifth year, is an employer-led national collaboration of health care leaders who promote employer investment in the skill and career development of frontline health care workers. It's a clearinghouse for best practices in health care and it encourages health care companies to share information and training development.

Currently over 100 health care organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente and Banner Health, partner with CareerSTAT. Many of the initiatives these organizations advance focus on early college and career pathway programs providing low-income and minority students with access to in-demand health care careers. One of the goals is to ensure the demographics of their caregiver population match that of the community. "A lot of the organizations we work with have large Hispanic populations and have started working on initiatives that would get Hispanic youth engaged in health care careers," says Hunter.

One health care facility working to ensure its workforce mirrors that of the community is City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. It is located in Duarte, California, which is 71 percent Hispanic.

City of Hopes primary objective is to deliver the best possible care to its patients. To do that in a community that is 71 percent Hispanic its frontline workers must understand and appreciate the cultural, ethnic and religious sensitivities of Hispanics, says Stephanie Neuvirth, chief human resources and diversity officer at City of Hope. "Its all about gaining the trust of the patients, their families and of the community," says Neuvirth. "We believe that we have a role in making our community thrive through better understanding about how to live in a healthy manner."

City of Hope educates Hispanics in Duarte about nutrition, exercising, early screenings and vaccinations. "We believe all (these) different variables are important to support the community," says Neuvirth. "To best understand how to support them we have to understand the community at large. If our employees mirror the community, we believe that will help us to better serve our patients and understand our patients' needs."

City of Hope has implemented a number of initiatives to lure talented Hispanics into the health care field. "We have substantial efforts to recruit existing health care professionals as well as college students to join City of Hope," says Neuvirth.

Only 6 percent of the physicians and 8 percent of the nurses in the U.S. are Hispanic, according to Neuvirth. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.