Futuro Health - eConnection
Futuro Health - Where the Future of Care Begins
eConnection January2021
In This Issue:
Futuro Health to Invest in Behavioral Health Occupations in 2021 Training Roadmap
Chronic Care Coordinator Program Launches, Registered Dental Assistant Program Next
WorkforceRx Podcast: 'Diversity Can't Just Be a Program'
Student Spotlight: From Law Enforcement to Healthcare - Futuro Health Paving Path to Second Career

Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO, Futuro Health

Futuro Health to Invest in Behavioral Health Occupations in 2021 Training Roadmap

Futuro Health marked its one-year anniversary this month with first-year enrollment figures that exceeded expectations amid the pandemic. The organization plans to focus on the rising behavioral health needs in its second year.

More than one-quarter of adults in the U.S. experience some type of behavioral health disorder in a given year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That could include alcohol use, substance use or other behaviors that impact an individual's well-being. COVID-19 could result in a potential 50 percent increase in the prevalence of behavioral health conditions based on a recent analysis by McKinsey & Company.

"As the pandemic surges, the need for good, well-trained healthcare workers who reflect the communities they serve has never been greater," said Dave Regan, chair of the Futuro Health board and president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. "Futuro Health and its partners exceeded their recruitment goals in 2020, and it could not have come at a better time."

The results are due, in part, to a unique ecosystem of partners cultivated by Futuro Health that allows for more agile execution of workforce development strategies - creating better-paying jobs for diverse workers, better care for patients, and better workers for employers to hire. In its first year of operation, Futuro Health provided tuition-free opportunities for 1,691 students and workers, most new to healthcare, including some who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and California fires. Enrollment surpassed the first-year goal of serving 1,500 students in training programs that lead to a credential, including Medical Assistant, Advanced Telehealth Coordinator, Care Coordinator and Health IT Specialist.

Futuro Health also trained frontline healthcare workers and licensed vocational nurses/licensed practical nurses in pandemic readiness in more than 20 states and still offers this online course at no cost to the healthcare community.

"We are pleased to bring equity into healthcare through Futuro Health and to be able to offer local communities the opportunity to train for in-demand careers in healthcare," said Janet Liang, executive vice president, group president and chief operating officer for Kaiser Permanente. "Futuro Health's focus on training behavioral health care providers is especially important to Kaiser Permanente because of our 75-year mission to support total health, in mind, body and spirit."

Eighty-five percent of Futuro Health's students are female, with an average age of 35, of whom 87% are diverse, and 34% of all students speak a language in addition to English, reflecting the organization's commitment to building a workforce for all communities.

"We care about creating opportunity," said Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. "We brought together an ecosystem of quality partners who share in that purpose and look forward to combining our strengths to address the mental health issues likely arising from this pandemic."

A key area of focus for Year 2 is the rising need in mental and behavioral health. Behavioral health refers to how an individual's well-being is impacted by physical and mental behaviors, while mental health focuses on an individual's psychological state. In addition to the McKinsey report about increased behavioral health conditions, a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported 45 percent of Americans felt the COVID-19 crisis is harming their mental health.

Three of Futuro Health’s six new planned training offerings in 2021 acknowledge the looming behavioral health crisis and need for increased behavioral health services: Community Health Worker with a Behavioral Health Emphasis, Care Coordinator with a Behavioral Health Emphasis, and Behavioral Health coursework to upskill existing credentialed healthcare workers. These programs are being offered by accredited higher education institution partners.

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Chronic Care Coordinator Program Launches, Registered Dental Assistant Program Next

Last month, Futuro Health launched the Care Coordinator: Chronically Ill certification program to help grow the workforce - this occupation is expected to grow 13% in the 10-year period through 2028.

A care coordinator, also known as a patient care coordinator or patient navigator, helps patients through the complex elements of healthcare. Among their duties, the care coordinator is responsible for managing and coordinating the details of a patient's care and serves as the connection between the patient and the medical and administrative staff. This 6-month long program is for credentialed and experienced healthcare workers looking to advance their careers.

We have also added the Registered Dental Assistant program. There are 44,800 projected job openings in California, with a projected 11% growth rate in dental assistant jobs between 2019-2029. This is a 10-month program. Geographies are limited.

Both programs are offered by accredited higher education institutions.

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WorkforceRx Podcast: 'Diversity Can't Just Be a Program' With Marsha Sampson Johnson, Diversity Advocate and Former CHRO of Southern Company

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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Student Spotlight: From Law Enforcement to Healthcare - Futuro Health Paving Path to Second Career

Darik K. thought he had a future in law enforcement, so he earned a degree in Administration of Justice. Three-fourths of the way through the program, in 2012, he realized it wasn't a good fit and a job or two post graduation confirmed it.

Darik pursued a different path and along the way discovered an interest in technology and healthcare. He didn't know how to go about making a career out of those interests, though. Until a friend who works for Kaiser Permanente told him about Futuro Health's new Health IT Specialist program, which prepares students for entry-level IT jobs in healthcare.

"I couldn't believe it," Darik said. "I didn't know how to go about it, getting the proper education and stuff like that. It was like opportunity knocking on my door."

He applied and was admitted to the program. He started working toward his new career last November. Ultimately, Darik sees himself working in the midst of the daily hustle and bustle of a hospital to be more closely connected to the lives he would be impacting.

He currently works full time for a union advising members of their medical benefits, so the flexibility of the online, asynchronous training Futuro Health program has been a good fit. He typically focuses on his studies from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

"I feel like this is a great step toward what I want to do," Darik said. "If anybody is thinking about it, I would say research it, ask questions, talk to the [Futuro Health] Navigator and go for it."

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Futuro Health - Where the Future of Car Begins
Founders: Kaiser Permanente and EIU-UHW
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Futuro Health • Sacramento, CA • Email: Info@FuturoHealth.org