Health Workforce Development
Promote workforce development strategies to address shortage areas, diversity, and other workforce needs of community health centers and other community health organizations.
The HEART Consortium : ( Healthcare Employment Access Recruitment and Training) is a collaborative comprised of secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, hospitals, community-based organizations, as well as community residents and leaders. It is a leading workforce development initiative whose goal is to gain entry level employment in health sector jobs for residents of the HEART geographic target area. The HEART target population is defined as families living in public and publicly assisted (Section 8) housing in geographic proximity to the Southwest Corridor and the MBTA Orange Line from Chinatown through the South End, Roxbury and out to Jamaica Plain and Roslindale. The Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc. (CCHERS) is the lead organization on behalf of the HEART Consortium.
Home Health Aide Training
The HEART Consortium’s first venture has been training home health aides. There is high demand, state-wide and nationally, for home health aides. The home healthcare industry is facing a triple threat:
- Limited supply of home health aides, due to low wages, no benefits, and challenging working conditions;
- Exploding demand, as the population ages, hospitals discharge patients “quicker and sicker” to meet the push for cost savings, and patient preference is reflected in less reliance on long term institutional care; and
- Falling unemployment, which further exacerbates challenges in recruiting and training new home health aides
Minds that Move Us: Career Pathway Design Challenge
In July 2018 the HEART Consortium was selected by the Institute for Educational Leadership to be part of their career pathways design challenge. The HEART proposal, in collaboration with Anodyne, The Caribbean Foundation, Home Care Aide Council, CCHERS, and the Edward M Kennedy Academy, was selected as one of ten from over 150 proposals submitted nationally. The HEART team proposed designing a workers’ cooperative and support network for Home Health Aides that will focus on improving working conditions, living wages and benefits, increasing financial stability, and providing educational and training opportunities pathways for upskilling. Funded by the ECMC Foundation with additional partners, including the Coalition for Adult Basic Education and the National Association for State Directors for Adult Education at the end of a year there will be three cash prizes awarded to the top three finishers.