Rachel Wick, Blue Shield of California Foundation: Respecting the Work That Makes All Other Work Possible

“I’m able to be here with you today because my son is at a wonderful childcare provider home,” says WorkforceRx guest, Rachel Wick, to illustrate how critical direct care workers are to our lives and economy. Wick, the senior program officer for Blue Shield of California Foundation, describes childcare and direct care provided in the home for the elderly and disabled as ‘the work that makes all other work possible.’ As she tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, it’s time our society valued it as such and invested in the sector the way we invest in public schools and healthcare. Wick is hoping the foundation’s new report, Forging a Sustainable Future for California’s Direct Care Workforce, will help provide a shared understanding of these workers and their challenges among all relevant stakeholders to help advance needed policy changes. Raising up this worker population and increasing economic security for other low-income communities is part of the foundation’s overall mission to remove barriers to health and wellbeing, especially among people of color, in order to build lasting and equitable solutions that will make California the healthiest state. “As we listen to families across California, what they tell us is that health and wellbeing and stability is just not possible when you are caught in a relentless daily struggle for survival.” Tune in to learn more about the role economic security plays in health, and how unionization and cooperative business models may be part of the answer to elevating a critically important workforce.

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