2018 Frontline Healthcare Worker Emerging Champion: Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS) provides quality health care to veteran patients throughout 23 parishes in southeast Louisiana. Services include a community living center, primary care, mental health, tele-health, medicine, surgery and other specialty care. In the last year alone, SLVHCS served nearly 45,000 veterans. The primary goal of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to provide the highest quality of care and service to veterans. At SLVHCS this goal is accomplished through investments in frontline workforce development programs and employee engagement.

Nearly 30% of SLVHCS employees are veterans, and investing in employee skill development improves the lives of veterans both as employees and patients. Within the structure of the VA system, SLVHCS implements two entry-level programs: Emerging VA Leaders Program and The Hudson Thomas Program. The Emerging VA Leaders Program is a comprehensive program designed to identify employees who want to grow their careers within the VA and have demonstrated leadership potential. Participants are paired with a mentor and work to enhance their skills in alignment with VA values and priorities. Unique to SLVHCS, The Hudson Thomas Program combines skill development, career coaching, and mentorship. Nearly 83% of participants are veterans. Both programs are fundamental to SLVHCS’ commitment to career advancement for frontline workers.