2019 CareerSTAT Frontline Healthcare Worker Champion: RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive academic healthcare system, employing 34,000 people and more than 9,000 physicians across 11 acute-care hospitals, three acute-care children’s hospitals, a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, numerous outpatient centers, and much more. RWJBarnabas Health is dedicated to building career ladders for frontline workers and programs that serve the most vulnerable members of the community. As an anchor institution, an ‘Outside In, Inside Up’ approach is used to recruit and mentor qualified candidates from the community, while providing frontline employees career ladder support and training, tuition reimbursement and grants, and internal promotions.

A natural outgrowth of these efforts to recruit local talent was the creation of a career ladders program that supports career advancement. Career ladders are an important organizational priority and an integral pillar in RWJBarnabas Health’s commitment to frontline workers. RWJBarnabas Health’s Workforce Development Division provides advancement programs for frontline employees. There is an online tracking system that shows all available opportunities, outreach activities and informational sessions, and job shadowing opportunities. These efforts are supported by strong leadership commitment and a funding model consisting of tuition reimbursement, operational training funds, and public and private grant support. In 2018, 185 employees participated in certification programs and 2019 projects are slated to increase participation by 100%.