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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Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of National Skills Coalition: Finding Common Ground on Job Growth

As a longtime observer of the Washington political scene and a “go-to” expert on workforce and education policy issues, Andy Van Kleunen thinks that despite the country’s deep political divisions, it’s possible to make generation-defining investments in education and training to spur major employment growth. “There’s not a lot of partisan divide on investing in the retraining of somebody who’s been laid off and now has to look for a new occupation. We’re talking about 80 to 90 percent approval for greater public investments in those kinds of efforts.” Drawing on lessons learned from previous recovery efforts, Van Kleunen believes more needs to be done this time to make sure economic gains are inclusive from a racial and socio-economic standpoint. The organization he leads, National Skills Coalition, also urges policymakers to follow what they have found to be the most effective formula for increasing skills and growing jobs: let localities and states in the nation’s 300-400 regional economies bring stakeholders together to determine where investments should be made. In this timely conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, Van Kleunen taps into the knowledge gained from his national network of business, education and labor leaders to share the most effective formulas for economic development in this unique political moment.

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Eva Sage-Gavin, Senior Managing Director of Accenture’s Global Talent & Organization/Human Potential Practice: “The Workforce Has Changed Forever.”

Workers are showing the strains of social isolation, disrupted work and family routines, and sustained anxiety for personal safety — all induced by the pandemic. Fortunately, employers are taking note according to Eva Sage-Gavin, a former Fortune 500 executive who now advises C-suite leaders on talent strategy for Accenture. Sage-Gavin says employers are realizing they need to take a “whole human” approach to HR to navigate through this crisis of human resilience, and address employee needs for connection, relationship, and purpose if they are going to keep their workforce productive. In this revealing episode of WorkforceRx, Sage-Gavin and Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan – who first met a decade ago serving on President Obama’s Skills for America’s Future initiative – discuss a new global partnership to connect displaced workers to jobs, the worrisome “she-cession” as women drop out of the workforce, the enhanced impact of modern boards, and a key ingredient to helping employers solve problems in these extraordinary times.

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Walter Greenleaf, PhD, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University: Improving Care with Virtual Environments

When he first started trying to score clinical research data in the mid-1980’s, Stanford University neuroscientist Walter Greenleaf was using a ruler, pen and paper. Now, thanks in part to his pioneering efforts, similar research can be conducted using virtual reality and augmented reality devices. These technologies are also being integrated throughout medicine, including treatment for various mental health issues, a special focus of his. For instance, patients can be exposed to anxieties or fears through carefully designed virtual environments, allowing them to build confidence while clinicians gauge their progress. Greenleaf, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, also sees broad potential for using virtual environments in workforce development and training, from handling difficult people and situations to bridging cultural gaps. Join Futuro Health’s CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan as she draws fascinating insights from Greenleaf gathered over decades of groundbreaking work in academia, technology development and medical product development, and find out what two skills he believes will open doors for healthcare workers in the decades to come.

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