Source Newsroom: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
BOSTON – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is among just 11 hospitals nationally – and the only one in New England – to be singled out by the Hitachi Foundation’s Pioneer Employer Hospitals Initiative, a program based on the idea that employers who do good, do well. Hitachi is recognizing BIDMC for its commitment to addressing key personnel shortages by training its own employees with the skills they need to advance and grow professionally.
Launched in 2008, the Pioneer Employer Initiative seeks out companies from all business sectors that offer education and training opportunities for low-wage workers through programs that empower employees and contribute to the success of the companies. Hitachi then develops case studies distilling the practices that make these companies successful with the goal of helping other companies incorporate similar practices. This year, Hitachi is focusing on hospitals.
The case studies can be viewed at: http://www.hitachifoundation.org/component/content/article/440/440
“Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the other hospitals we’ve identified provide proof that cultivating the skills of entry-level employees and incorporating them more fully into the team is a win for all,” said Barbara Dyer, President and CEO of the Hitachi Foundation. “This is common wisdom that is too infrequently applied – when we value employees at all levels, when we clarify the terms of success and make opportunities for learning and advancement readily available; jobs become careers, and good hospitals become great hospitals.”
To date BIDMC has created programs to train people into seven different occupations.
“We had the shortage and we had the supply, but the supply of labor wasn't credentialed, wasn’t able to take on the jobs that were open,” said Lisa Zankman, BIDMC’s senior vice president of human resources. ”So we thought, ‘how can we fix that?’ It was really a question of matching shortages with labor supply, people who wanted to move ahead.”
BIDMC’s answer was to create “pipeline” programs to develop candidates in areas such as nursing, medical laboratory technicians, research administrators, patient care technicians, surgical technologists and central processing technicians. The newest pipeline program trained employees to become pharmacy technicians.
The education and training programs offer a combination of classroom and practical training that can lead to a degree or certification and the opportunity to move up.
“When we’re doing it right, we are helping managers solve their problems, from shortages of skilled workers to retention issues,” said Joanne Pokaski, who directs the workforce development efforts. Most training programs are now developed at the request of hiring departments. “And we also get to see employees move into new jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.”
Since the programs’ launch in 2005, over 80 employees have graduated and moved on to better paying jobs that carry more responsibility.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Hitachi Foundation for the work this institution does to support our employees,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, BIDMC’s President and CEO. “To be a world class medical center, we need a world class team. We ask a lot of our staff and in return we want to support them in doing their jobs to the best of their ability and help them grow in their careers here.”
BIDMC also created an Employee Career Initiative that offers pre-college courses, college-level science courses, and academic and career counseling on-site for employees at no charge. This initiative was designed help more BIDMC employees prepare for pipeline and other advancement opportunities.
In addition, the medical center partners with Jewish Vocational Services to provide training for employees to receive a GED; offers English as a Second Language course for non-native speakers; basic computer courses for food and environmental services employees; and a citizenship course for immigrants.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.