Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, Co-Founder of HEAL: The Power of Perspective in Caring for the Underserved

Doctors who realize that creating a local jobs program can be as important to helping their patients as writing a prescription have the kind of broad perspective that today’s WorkforceRx guest wants all health providers to adopt. “I think that context is oftentimes lost on providers in medical school or nursing school where they’re not connecting the patient to the entire context of their lives,” says Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, the co-founder of the Health Equity Action and Leadership initiative at UC San Francisco. The idea for HEAL grew out of global public health work Shamasunder had done himself in which he felt like he didn’t understand all of the factors impacting his patients’ health status — what he calls the structural determinants of care. “That requires mentorship. It requires the correct curriculum…kind of reorienting what medical education is,” he tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. Each class of HEAL Fellows includes a mix of doctors from the US, Navajo Nation and the Global South. “It’s this really incredible learning community where for two years, they’re doing clinical work and project work to become better advocates and better leaders.” Tune in for a thoughtful look at using medicine as a way to establish trust in resource-denied communities and how HEAL is a potential solution to address vacancies in Native communities.

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Dr. David Ferreira, Provost of Charter Oak State College: Turning Employee Tuition Benefit On Its Head

Although most US employers offer some form of tuition assistance, it’s estimated that less than 5% of employees use the benefit. There are several reasons for this, but according to Dr. David Ferreira, provost of Charter Oak State College, paying the upfront cost of tuition is high on the list. “Fifty-seven percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. They cannot commit to an upfront tuition cost especially if they’re living paycheck to paycheck,” he tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. Inspired by an idea outlined in Van’s book WorkforceRx: Agile and Inclusive Strategies for Employers, Educators and Workers in Unsettled Times, Ferreira and colleagues decided to turn the traditional tuition reimbursement model on its head and adopt a disbursement model instead in which employers pay the upfront cost and get reimbursed through a federal tax credit for employee tuition benefits. He calls it a ‘win-win-win’ approach. “There’s no money out of pocket for the employee, there’s no cost on the employer side because they’ll be reimbursed, and Charter Oak is going to get more students.” In working to sign-up employers as the new Charter Invest program rolls out, Ferreira is also highlighting that it will help companies with the important goals of employee retention and diversifying their workforce. Get all the details, learn about the program’s ‘all you can eat’ design, and find out how employers are reacting to the idea in this eye-opening conversation.

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Jaime Fall, Director of UpSkill America at the Aspen Institute: Invest in a Culture of Learning

If you want to know how employers are changing their thinking about educating workers in the wake of COVID, Jaime Fall is in a great position to tell you. As director of the Aspen Institute’s workforce development initiative Upskill America, Jaime is constantly in touch with some of the 5,000 businesses in the program’s network and he has plenty of news to share with host Van Ton-Quinlivan in this episode of WorkforceRx with Futuro Health. From diversity to digital literacy to new safety protocols, businesses have many targets for training and advancement practices that were not necessarily priorities pre-COVID. And have you heard of the new trend in
“outskilling”? Jamie is here to fill you in. Bottom line: as the pace of change continues to accelerate, companies need to invest in a culture of learning so their workers will have the skills they need to be effective and productive.

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What is Futuro Health?

A Q&A with host Van Ton-Quinlivan on the origins of Futuro Health’s groundbreaking model for growing the healthcare workforce, and the innovative ways
Futuro is building onramps to education for adult learners.

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Meet Our Host

Van Ton-Quinlivan reveals that her deep appreciation for educational opportunity is rooted in experiences making a new life in the U.S. after her family fled the Vietnam War. Helping others access the same transformational
opportunities is her life’s work, and led to her guiding a billion-dollar
workforce development program in the largest higher education system
in the country, and becoming the founding CEO of Futuro Health.

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About the WorkforceRx Podcast

Host Van Ton-Quinlivan describes what’s in store for listeners in this new interview series with national leaders and innovators in workforce development.

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