Thursday, September 5, 2013

‘Grow Your Own’ grant will help CoxHealth enhance health care workforce

CoxHealth has been awarded a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Missouri Hospital Association to help retain and enhance the leadership talent of the health system’s health care workforce. The grant of $42,750 will be used to establish a system-wide workforce development program to identify and develop managerial talent and provide educational opportunities for future leaders at all levels of the health system.

The aging population, growing number of individuals with chronic conditions and expanded access to health insurance have led to increasing demands on the health care system. These factors and others have generated an urgent need for additional hospital caregivers. In addition, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which includes significant changes to payments and health care delivery systems, coupled with new technology, such as electronic health records, has increased demand for workers with highly specialized skills.

“Talent development is probably my most important job. We understand that with the aging population much of our workforce may be leaving. A lot of our senior leaders are baby boomers, and they are getting ready to retire,” said Steve Edwards, CoxHealth President and CEO. “We have hundreds of managers in the organization, and so I know one of my chief jobs is making sure we have the processes in place to help train and develop people.”

At CoxHealth, Grow Your Own funds will be used to purchase HealthcareSource’s Leadership Assessment tool, endorsed by the American Hospital Association, which will enable the organization to identify and measure improvement in the leadership competencies of 500-600 leaders across the entire hospital, physician group, health plan and home health organizations. The Leadership Assessment tool applies behavioral science to leader identification, selection, development and succession planning. The tool prescribes individualized development plans and group reports showing organizational strengths and developmental opportunities for specific groups of leaders.

“The workforce challenge for Missouri hospitals is two-fold,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. “First, hospitals must address the shortage of educated health care workers, including primary care physicians, nurses, therapists and imaging technicians, to meet the expanding demand for care. Second, hospital leaders also must recruit and retain talented individuals to manage increasingly complex health care organizations. The Grow Your Own program allows hospitals to address these challenges with plans that are tailored to the needs of their organizations and the communities they serve.”

Applications for the Grow Your Own Hospital Grant Program were submitted in July. The applications were reviewed and selected by an independent committee composed of representatives from health care, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with experience in health care grant development and funding processes.