To Find Strong Leaders, Look to Your Frontline Workforce

To cultivate engaged and invested leaders, East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) found that they need to look no further than their own frontline staff and do just that: engage and invest in them. With a direct correlation between a highly engaged workforce and quality patient care, healthcare organizations that invest in the frontline are adopting a smart business strategy. EAMC devotes significant resources to offer a range of skill and career development opportunities to ensure its highly skilled, talented workforce can meet the healthcare needs of its community. Because of these investments, EAMS was named a 2018 CareerSTAT Frontline Worker Champion organization.

For example, EAMC has an eight-month program that allows frontline employees to shadow colleagues in other occupations, refine interview skills, and meet with EAMC leaders to engage with different parts of the organization. This entire program is accessed onsite and during work hours.

EAMC has several programs and tools that assess frontline workers’ skills and help to inform effective career coaching. One is Catalyst’s NCharge®. Implemented in 2017, this leadership series focuses on strengthening the supervisory skills of frontline nurses to improve employee satisfaction and patient experience. Nurse managers and educators deliver the content, sharing their expertise and providing an opportunity to deepen relationships among staff. The curriculum provides staff with a range of skills, from critical thinking and supervision to employee engagement, patient experience, and change management.

EAMC has a longstanding tradition of identifying talent within our workforce, where we instill our mission of “high quality, compassionate healthcare.” We back that up with a range of programs to support employee development and career advancement, including basic skill development, career exploration tools, two leadership development modules, onsite scholarship programs, an earn-and-learn program to expose youth to paid on-the-job experiences. Through partnerships with local education institutions and community-based organizations, EAMC is committed to fostering career success for its employees. The investment in our staff is integral to our mission to provide excellent patient care, and best serve our community.

– Laura Grill, Executive Vice President, East Alabama Medical Center

CareerSTAT’s Frontline Healthcare Worker Champion program recognizes healthcare organizations investing in the careers and skills of their frontline workers. Organizations are designated as Champions and Emerging Champions. Champions meet all of CareerSTAT’s recognition criteria, including making skill and career development accessible, offering programs at a significant scale, measuring program business impact, and building sustainable programs. Emerging Champions are in earlier stages of investment and working with CareerSTAT leaderships to strengthen their programs. Learn more at

This blog is a part of a series highlighting the 2018 CareerSTAT Frontline Worker Champions. See our other blogs featuring Champion organizations: Staten Island Performing Provider System, LorettoWashington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers, Dartmouth-HitchcockDistrict 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System.