Care Compass Network Awards $1 Million to Support New and Innovative Workforce Pilot Programs

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Press Release Care Compass Network (CCN) announced that it is awarding more than $1 million to support eight innovative proposals that will support the rural workforce within our 9-county region. The awarded proposals ranged from the development of a retraining program to Peer Support Services to the development of an employee wellness/ mentor programs.

As organizations across the US are looking for innovative ways to address workforce shortages, Care Compass Network developed their Workforce Transformation Pilot Program to encourage partner organizations across CCN’s 9-county region to develop new programs that would help address workforce elements such as education, re-training, employee retention, rural workforce shortages, workforce collaborations, or improving service delivery efficiencies.

“Supporting innovative programs is a hallmark of our strategy. We were excited to have the opportunity to develop an innovative workforce pilot program that would provide our partners with an opportunity to address workforce shortages in new and different ways,” shares Molly French, Workforce Manager at Care Compass Network. “We are pleased to partner with and fund eight different organizations in their work towards improving outcomes across our region.”

Program Awardees Total: $1,016,897


Program Descriptions

Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County
The Healthy Workforce Initiative, led by the Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County (the Council) aims to strengthen the behavioral health workforce in the region. In turn, improving the pipeline of behavioral health staff will improve care for residents and workers within the region, who struggle to successfully participate in the workforce while combatting SUD including opioid addiction.

The Council will work with Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), Friends of Recovery NY, and other behavioral health partners in the CCN region. With these partners, the Council will expand on training and internship opportunities in health care fields where workers are needed, develop micro-credential possibilities that can aid businesses with staffing quickly, and support the Peer Training needs locally and within the region. The proposed project combines efforts to meet immediately-present needs for behavioral health clinicians and other staff positions, and strengthens the infrastructure to continue a stronger pipeline of workers for emerging health care needs.

Catholic Charities of Broome County
In response to ongoing demand for Empowerment and Peer Support Services, Catholic Charities will collaborate with the Mental Health Empowerment Project in order to offer training to support the creation of a cadre of certified peers in addition to cultivating peer employment in non-certified roles. Training will be made available to peers connected to Catholic Charities but also offered to other peers and CCN partner agencies. Training for Peer Supervisors and a learning collaborative approach is also part of the project plan. Outcome metrics include participation by 40-70 persons with a serious mental illness who will be well positioned to be employed in roles within the service system to prevent avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions as well as to promote positive health outcomes, in alignment with the CCN Workforce Transformation Pilot Project.

Catholic Charities of Chenango County
Catholic Charities of Chenango County is implementing an Employee Wellness Room that will allow Catholic Charities employees to focus on their wellness, health, recharge and escape the day-to-day stresses of work life. The wellness room will be located on site at one of Catholic Charities locations. The Employee wellness room will consist of two sections, a workout room with exercise equipment, weights and yoga mats, while the other section will be more of a quiet place for staff to relax and gather their thoughts for a minute. Additionally, the staff wellness room will have a vending machine to offer staff more varieties of cold drinks and healthy snacks. This Wellness room will also be able to be used by staff for staff activities, meetings and wellness projects. Catholic Charities employees will have access to the wellness room during breaks, lunch hour and after hours.

Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca
Each year, preventable medical errors result in nearly 400,000 casualties in the United States. A major contributor to these casualties concerns this nation’s culture and attitude surrounding medical education. With significant advances in technology, rising medical staff have access to numerous beneficial resources, particularly simulation based medical education (SBME). SMBE can be an extremely valuable tool for the betterment of medical practice. Simulation Labs can provide a safe, controlled, and supportive environment in which medical residents and nurses can learn, address, and master real-life medical scenarios. More times than not, new medical staff are underprepared and overwhelmed when tasked with addressing clinical scenarios they have not yet encountered, which has the potential to result in medical error and patient endangerment. In addition, the training of nurses in the post-education setting is largely on the job or narrowly focused. As technology continues to change and advance and new medical studies alter best practices, SMBE allow medical staff to reintroduce themselves to particular skill sets they have lost familiarity with, sharpen their existing skill sets, and learn new best practices. To alleviate consequential circumstances, CHS is proposing the implementation of an OR mentorship program to train and perpetually support its workforce. This will ensure they are equipped with new skills, a sound understanding, and expertise of their working environment. CHS believes that the employment of the Operating Room Employment Mentor Program (OREM-P) will not only reduce its nurse turnover rate, but also retain valuable and skilled nursing staff and improve patient outcomes.

Gerould’s Professional Pharmacy
Getting around in the physical world is something many of us may take for granted. For those who have physical difficulties, however – a curb, a few stairs, or moving around their home can be difficult and risky. Assistive technology professionals work with the aging population and disabled to provide home safety, mobility, and accessibility products to help people remain in their homes and reduce the risk of falls. The growth of the aging and disabled population is rapidly outpacing the assistive technology workforce creating a gap in the Care Compass Network region and beyond. This creates a barrier to care as the aging and disabled are less apt to be able to obtain medically necessary mobility and accessibility items that could be covered by insurance. Assistive technology professionals evaluate the technology needs of people with disabilities and help them select and use adaptive devices. In collaboration with US Rehab, DMERT, and VGM Live at Home, Geroulds Professional Pharmacy Inc will develop an assistive technology professional residency program to provide necessary hands on skills training complimenting the online training programs provided by DMERT and VGMU. To enhance the training experience, the program will establish community service clinics in which people can bring their assistive technology devices for general maintenance and tune ups. The collaborative program also seeks accreditation and financial aid eligibility to lessen the financial burden on students and employers looking to retrain or redeploy current workforce.

Guthrie Cortland
Many applicants lack work readiness skills and are burdened with their own social determinants (e.g., transportation, unemployment, and childcare issues) to be ready for non-traditional job roles. BOCES will collaborate with CORTNET and FHNDIAG, two Care Compass Cohorts, to design and implement a work readiness curriculum, focused on preparing adult learners for high demand, non-clinical, non-traditional jobs in the health care and human services sector. The program will be organized into manageable 10-week modules, designed to accommodate the variable schedules and lifestyles of the students who will participate. The project, named PERT (Partners collaborating to Empower students to Reskill and overcome their social determinants of health to Transform their lives and healthcare). PERT provides skills, resources, and support to enables students to address their own social determinants of health and re-enter the workforce. PERT is expected to impact 180 students over three years.

Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network
Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network – in partnership with the Rural Health Network, proposes the ” “Preparing Future CBO Leaders for Effective Partnering in Health Care Transformation” project. The goal of this project is to ensure our agencies have a prepared and highly-competent workforce in order to assure greater organizational capacity and involvement in continued NY’s health care system transformation(DSRIP 2.0 initiatives). This project is a comprehensive plan for developing current agency managers and lower level supervisors’ leadership skills, plus a plan to continue the staff development process in the future through in-house mentoring. We are confident that with successful implementation and completion of this plan for increasing leadership capacity, our agencies will help to attain greater integration of the delivery system to benefit Medicaid Members.

UHS Hospitals
Exposing high school and community college students to careers is becoming an important factor in the highly competitive marketplace of attracting the best talent. In 2014, 80% of employers viewed recruiting as the primary function of internships, but today it is just as important for the employer to gain the exposure among high school students and demonstrate that careers in the industry sectors provide a long-term career track.

This is particularly important in the healthcare industry. Growth and demand for qualified employees is reflected in the fact that ten out of the twenty fastest-growing careers in the country are healthcare-related, and healthcare is the #1 growth industry in Broome County, NY.

The UHS Healthcare Exploration Program is designed to:
• Provide high school students with exposure to career opportunities in healthcare.
• Prepare preliminary career path plans for interested students.
• Build a workforce pipeline through early exposure.
• Establish lasting relationships that will result in employment opportunities in the future.

The UHS Healthcare Exploration Program consists of three components:
1. UHS Healthcare Exploration Club
2. UHS Healthcare Rotation Internships
3. Collaboration with Broome-Tioga BOCES New Visions (NV) Health Academy

Exposing students early to UHS and a career in healthcare is a proactive, long-term talent acquisition strategy.