Nearly one out of every 50 people in Fresno County wears a Community Medical Centers’ badge – as an employee, volunteer, student, contract worker, or affiliated medical provider such as a dentist, doctor or paramedic. It takes the strength of all 19,380 striving together to create a healthier community. As the healthcare safety net for the region, Community must grow and manage a workforce to meet the Valley’s challenging, expanding health needs. That includes creating opportunities to encourage those with special expertise to stay here and increase access to healthcare.
“Caring for our workforce is as vital as caring for the health of our region,” said CEO Tim Joslin. “We’re committed to encouraging more people to take up healthcare careers and make Community their lifelong professional destination.”
Making the Valley a medical destination
Every year, more than 1,200 student nurses, 300 UCSF medical residents and fellows, and 15 pharmacy and dental residents step up to fill the growing needs of our region by training at Community and caring for local patients.
That’s especially vital in the Central Valley, a region with shortages of healthcare professionals and the lowest doctor-to-population ratios in the state. Many of those who train at Community’s hospitals commit to staying here. Half of UCSF Fresno medical residents graduating since 2000 have set up practices in the Central Valley. And nearly half the student nurses interning at Community were hired by our hospitals.
Mutually investing in education
Our employees never settle for good enough. Since 2015, more than 1,600 Community employees advanced to higher leadership positions, many into the ranks of management for the first time. More than 200 of those new managers got extra encouragement in Community’s leader-development programs, funded partly by gifts from donors.
Nearly 500 employees took advantage during fiscal year 2017 of Community’s discounted-tuition-rate program, tuition reimbursements and donor-provided scholarships to obtain college degrees. In all, Community provided $22 million last year in educational reimbursements, for professional certifications, college tuitions, clinical education, seminars and advanced leadership training.
“Our local, volunteer board of trustees,” Joslin said, “continues to invest in our workforce budgeting $18 million for raises next year, $17 million to fully fund pensions now, and resources this past year to launch a supplemental benefits program, that 5,000 employees now use.”
For many it’s a long-term relationship
Community employees commit to caring for patients for the long-term. More than 725 employees have 20 years or more at Community and 262 have three decades or more. Each year we celebrate those who have spent a career of 35 or 40 years helping care for patients.
So it’s no surprise that 89% of the 6,000 employees who completed the most recent employee engagement survey answered positively on all the questions about their jobs. Nearly 90% of employees agreed that “My organization provides excellent patient care” and 93% said “I understand how my work contributes to the mission.” It’s that passion for Community that earned us the “Workplace of the Year” award from the Advisory Board four times in a row. Only a select few in the nation can claim the same honor from an organization that acts as a clearinghouse on best practices in healthcare.
Joslin responded, “The people who make their careers at Community are indeed special.”
Erin Kennedy reported this story. Reach her at MedWatchToday@communitymedical.org