Anita Hammond is the Manager of Workforce Development at LifeBridge Health and a new leader in delivering technical assistance to the 11 healthcare organizations participating in the CareerSTAT Healthcare Workforce Development Academy. LifeBridge’s workforce development program has helped make them one of the largest and most comprehensive providers of health services to the people of the Northwest Baltimore region. LifeBridge has been recognized as a Champion organization for their sustained commitment to growing their frontline workers.
The following conversation with Anita Hammond was edited lightly and published in full.
LifeBridge Health has many best practices to share with the participating organizations in CareerSTAT’s Healthcare Workforce Development Academy. Why is peer-learning so important and what drives you to share your successes, challenges and lessons with your peers?
There’s a ton of great work being done across the country on behalf of frontline healthcare workers. Sharing our successes, challenges and lessons with peers takes away the need for aspiring organizations to “re-create the wheel.” Additionally, the sharing of information allows us all to be a part of an industry-wide approach to supporting the growth and development of our frontline staff to establish common practices and sustainability.
How has participating in CareerSTAT and the development of the Academy impacted LifeBridge Health? Have you learned about new approaches or seen your efforts in a different light as a result?
Participation in the Academy has been a learning experience for us as well. When we started our program 11 years ago, we did not have a strategic plan to determine where we were going or how we wanted to get there. We just started small and added a few new programs and services each year. Participating in the Academy has given us the opportunity to review our goals and plan more strategically on how to go about achieving our goals. The great news is, we are definitely on the right track!
In your opinion, what is LifeBridge’s formula for sustaining this work? In other words, what are you most excited to share with the CareerSTAT network and spread to other organizations?
At LifeBridge Health, we are fortunate to have a CEO and Executive Leadership that understands that investment in our frontline staff not only supports our business needs but also supports our community. We are afforded the opportunity to not only focus on the training and upskilling of our frontline workers but also to take a step back and address the needs of the worker from a holistic perspective. This kind of thinking shows the employee that LifeBridge Health really cares about their growth and development, both personally and professionally.
For healthcare organizations not currently involved in CareerSTAT, what can they learn from joining and participating?
Healthcare organizations not currently involved in CareerSTAT are truly missing out!
Being a part of the community would provide them with access to the knowledge and experience of a variety of healthcare workforce development professionals. Participating would also provide them with the opportunity, framework and assistance to become a Frontline Healthcare Worker Champion.