Dr. Sarita Mohanty, President & CEO of The SCAN Foundation: Collaborative Solutions to Support Aging Well

The growing crisis in homelessness across the US has understandably garnered a lot of news coverage and attention from policymakers, and today’s WorkforceRx guest wants to make sure one key facet of the problem is not overlooked as solutions are discussed. “There’s a lot of over-representation of older people in the homelessness rates, and older Black Californians — and this is a staggering statistic — are five times more likely to become homeless than their white counterparts,” says Dr. Sarita Mohanty, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, whose work is centered in the nexus of age, poverty and equity. As one of the largest foundations in the US focused on improving the quality of health and life for older adults, The SCAN Foundation supports a wide variety of initiatives to address the complex factors preventing many Americans from aging well. On this episode, Dr. Mohanty shares some positive notes with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan about statewide efforts in California that include expanded Medicaid access, moves to professionalize the home care workforce and the formation of Master Plans of Aging (MPA) at the state and local level. “There are some important areas of need that these MPA stakeholders are identifying and then they’re actually advocating at a policy level to get these addressed.” Stay tuned for many more examples of cross-sector collaborations that are accelerating solutions to this critically important problem affecting Americans of all ages.

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Paula Nickelson, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The Long and Short Game of Addressing Workforce Shortages

State departments of health play a huge role in America’s healthcare system, with responsibility for public health, licensure, public policy, and much more, so the workforce challenges they face have broad implications. “It will probably be twenty years before we really begin to bend the curve because many of the workforce shortages we encounter require very long-term strategies to change,” says Paula Nickelson, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Expanding slots for physician residencies and training opportunities for Certified Nursing Assistants are just two of the steps being pursued. Student loan reform, synching up higher ed with the needs of employers and better data management are also on her list but, as she tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, Nickelson thinks these types of changes will not improve healthcare as much as a major shift toward prevention would. “We will never change our health indicators in a positive way, nor will we get out of the escalating spiral of acute care costs and long-term care costs, until we invest in public health and prevention.” This episode of WorkforceRx promises an insightful state-level perspective on workforce and health system challenges confronting the entire nation.

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Michael Horn, Co-Founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute: Bringing Disruptive Innovations to Education

“If I looked at higher education writ large, as we’ve traditionally defined it, I’d say that the patient is sick right now,” says Michael Horn, a prominent national voice on reimagining education at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels. Horn sees a misalignment between education consumers who are seeking greater value, and education suppliers — especially brick-and-mortar institutions — who have not found a way to manage high cost structures and offer more flexible, lower cost, online options. And, as he explains to Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, online offerings won’t be a solution either unless they are carefully designed around student outcomes, how to teach the material effectively and how to measure if students are actually learning it. “Technology can be a really useful enabler of assessment, of feedback and of delivering customized curriculum, but it’s not about the use of technology for its own sake.” Among Horn’s other prescriptions are getting schools to focus more on improving learning models, and moving to a competency-based approach. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of the foremost thinkers on education reform address a wide array of issues from organizational model change, to addressing learning loss and social-emotional deficits, to new learning options in higher education. Be sure to stay tuned for a sneak peek at Horn’s new book due out next year which focuses on how to develop a deeper sense of what you’re looking for when changing jobs or careers.

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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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Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, Physicians for a Healthy California: The Doctor Shortage Is About More Than Numbers

Like all states, California is facing a shortage of physicians — in its case a gap of 10,500 by the end of the decade — but today’s WorkforceRx guest says the definition of shortage needs to go beyond just numbers to include their practice location and cultural diversity. “Oftentimes, we don’t have enough access to physicians in particular areas or to culturally dynamic physicians,” says Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, president and CEO of Physicians for a Healthy California. As she explains to Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, PHC tackles the issue by expanding physician training opportunities in underserved areas and by incentivizing early career physicians and dentists to accept Medicaid patients through loan forgiveness. “Those physicians come from geographically underserved communities. They also speak a second language and they’re committed to staying in those communities after they finish their service obligation.” This engaging conversation also explores addressing social determinants of health, trends in team-based care and previews a new report on how physicians who are women of color fared during the pandemic. “Women physicians of color are such a key core component to how we deliver culturally dynamic quality care and we need them to stay in their profession and continue to advance.”

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Johnathan Holifield, Senior Vice President at Bitwise Industries: Opening Economic Opportunities To The Underestimated

Johnathan Holifield spent many years deeply involved in neighborhood and community development work without really moving the needle until he discovered the game-changing nature of the innovation economy. “The stuff we were doing was good work, but we were focused on largely inelastic career opportunities versus what you find in the tech sector and innovation economy, which are elastic opportunities that really give you social and economic mobility.” As senior vice president of New Economies at Bitwise Industries, he’s now in a position to help what he calls disconnected populations gain access to the best options for economic advancement, and do so on an increasingly national scale. Bitwise, which started in Fresno, California in 2013, helps marginalized communities obtain the skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. Apprenticeships are key to its model and Bitwise is now the largest tech apprenticeship provider in the United States. Check out this illuminating episode of WorkforceRx as Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan explores how Bitwise is bringing its successful formula of workforce development, technology consulting and creating great community spaces to seven states and counting.

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Marsha Sampson Johnson, Diversity Advocate and Former CHRO of Southern Company: Diversity Can’t Just Be a Program

Spurred by heightened activism in 2020 against persistent racism in the U.S., many business leaders are engaged in a reckoning of their own policies, behaviors and corporate culture to determine how those might be contributing to systemic inequity and exclusion. Marsha Sampson Johnson, a leading diversity advocate and veteran corporate leader, has advice for those undertaking this work. “Diversity and inclusion can never just be a program. It can never be a department. If it is not incorporated into every aspect of the organization, it will never be successful.” Sampson Johnson, a retired senior executive from Fortune 200 energy giant Southern Company, has had an extraordinary career as an executive, mentor, writer and international speaker. In this trenchant conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, she shares insights gained from decades of providing leadership in HR, Talent Management and Diversity, discusses the impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce, and touches on the value of leadership development programs such as those sponsored by the International Women’s Forum where she spent many years as a Global Director.

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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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