Renee DeSilva, CEO of The Health Management Academy:  How Health System Leaders Are Tackling Workforce Challenges

If you would love to know what’s on the minds of the leaders of the nation’s largest health systems as they tackle workforce challenges and a host of other issues, but don’t happen to have the time to talk to all 150 of them, then this episode of WorkforceRx is for you. The well-placed source supplying this intelligence is Renee DeSilva, CEO of The Health Management Academy which provides advice, research, knowledge sharing, and leadership development for hospitals and other healthcare companies. Although labor costs and labor shortages continue to vex healthcare leaders, DeSilva is encouraged by the energy and innovation she’s seeing around solutions such as upskilling current employees, leaning into skills-based hiring, and creating talent pipelines with local educators. “I’m seeing a lot of creativity and partnership energy around solving the workforce challenge structurally, and then also just making the folks that we do have more productive and creating more of a thriving environment around them,” she tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. Leaders are also taking a fresh look at leveraging the knowledge and talents of nurse managers and giving them greater agency to implement solutions. As a student of leadership and a leader herself, DeSilva appreciates the front row seat she has watching members of the C-suite navigate a dizzying array problems. “It’s really interesting to see how each of them leans into their unique gifts. I think that’s where everyone has their power alley.” You’ll leave this conversation with a better sense of the paths being taken to the future of care and the tactics leaders are using to get there.

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Wendi Safstrom, President of the SHRM Foundation: HR as a Driver of Social Change

Evolving employee expectations for working conditions and years of a tight labor market have created steady challenges for human resources professionals. For a look at how those roles are evolving in response, and, to learn about current best practices, we turn today to Wendi Safstrom, president of the SHRM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the world’s largest HR professional society. “We’re problem-solving based on research that we do in the field with our HR pros with the goal to help HR get better and help them lead positive social change in the workplace.” As you’ll learn on this episode of WorkforceRx hosted by Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, that change includes ensuring health equity at work, providing support for mental health needs and adopting a “skills-first” approach to hiring, which can provide opportunity to populations who have often been shut out of the hiring process. “HR professionals have an obligation to contribute to bettering the lives of others, and what better way to do that than by employing an individual and demonstrating a culture that’s welcoming for everyone?” In this informative conversation, Wendi also addresses the use of AI in hiring, the need for HR staff to attend to their own mental health, and the free resources SHRM makes available to employers of all sizes.

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Curtis Johnson, Senior Fellow at Education Evolving: It’s Time to Upend Current Models of Education

EP81 WorkforceRx Podcast Curtis Johnson

For those concerned about teacher burnout and retention issues in K-12 education, Curtis Johnson has seen an innovative model in action that could provide an answer: let teachers run the schools. Johnson, a veteran educator, policy analyst and author, says there are already several hundred such schools in twenty-three states, what he describes as a slow growing movement. While interviewing staff at these schools for his book A New Deal for Teachers, he heard a consistent message. “They first convince me that they’re working harder than they’ve ever worked in their lives and then they go on to say that nobody ought to ever take this away from them because they have more fulfillment professionally and personally. These schools hold on to most all of their teachers every year,” he tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. Johnson is attracted to ideas that upend what he considers failing models of education, as you might expect from the co-author of Disrupting Class, which argues for shifting to a personalized and mastery-based approach. “Students today are so different from previous generations that you’ve got to treat them individually, yet in the current system of K-12, it’s not financially feasible to regard them as individuals and so personalization is something that people claim, but rarely do.” Tune in for a candid conversation about breaking the grip of centralized systems, how K-12 education should incorporate AI, and why he believes up to half of colleges and universities in the US will close in the next decade.

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