White House Recognizes Mercy Health for its Task Force Role, Work on Training and Placement Initiative

May 2, 2016 2:27 pm
John, Kelly and Shana, flag

Shana Welch, John Schwartz and Kelly Wilzcak at the White House in April 2016.

Mercy Health  has been named by the White House as one of 15 health care systems what will help support health career development by providing training and placement under the Health Career Pathways Initiative (HCP) in partnership with Hope Street Group and the Advisory Board. The Health Career Pathways initiative will unite and work with communities across the country to increase the number of Americans rapidly trained for sustainable, well-paying health care jobs.

Thanks to its role and work on the HCP advisory board, Grand Rapids and Muskegon communities will join Charlotte, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Sacramento, Calif.; and the Bronx, Westchester, Hudson Valley and New York City, in N.Y. as HCP founding communities in the initiative. The initiative is built on career pathways by:

• Working with healthcare employers to identify the jobs and skills most in-demand;
• Upgrading training to give students skills and experiences most needed by employers;
• Supporting job seekers, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, in advancing along career pathways to middle-class jobs.

On Monday, April 25, the White House mentioned Mercy Health West Michigan for its role in the HCP.

“We are grateful that our six years of work developing innovative processes to identify, recruit and retain talent has drawn the recognition of the White House,” said John Schwartz, Regional Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Mercy Health. “Patient satisfaction is our priority and we believe that an engaged and diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve directly affects clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. The White House has confirmed that we are on the right path, and together with our strong community partnerships, we are fully committed to continuing and enhancing our great work here in West Michigan.”

Mercy Health West Michigan has committed to partnerships with Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Montcalm Community Colleges, West Michigan Works, the NAACP and Goodwill to proactively identify and train up to 300 disadvantaged people per year for healthcare professions.

This is the second time within the past year that the White House has recognized Mercy Health. In the fall of 2015, the Muskegon Community Health Project and the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program were featured in the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy 2015 report, recently released by President Obama. The Muskegon Community Health Project (Health Project) was established in 1994 as part of the community benefit office of Mercy Health Muskegon.


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