Words from Woods | one year ago

Opportunities for Success Abound in the Healthcare Field

To all the graduates who have recently graduated or will do so in the coming weeks, I would like to offer up my congratulations!

I especially want to extend my compliments to the 2016 classes of Carolinas College of Health Sciences and Cabarrus College of health Sciences, many of whom have amazing stories and are getting ready to join the Carolinas HealthCare System workforce. Their hard work, dedication and commitment in reaching this milestone is to be commended.

I’m proud to work in an industry that helps people find a career pathway. According to the White House, while hundreds of thousands of entry-level and middle-skilled roles in healthcare are sitting unfilled another 3.5 million new U.S. jobs will be created in the healthcare sector over the next decade. Many of these jobs will play a critical role as our industry focuses on quality, care coordination and value-based care. Tying these front-line jobs to clearly defined career pathways and training can create ladders of opportunity for millions of Americans to move into middle-class careers.

And according to a recent article in Next City, healthcare careers may be the pathway out of poverty for some. Carolinas HealthCare System and the Charlotte region were together identified as one of seven Health Career Pathways Communities by the White House. Debra Plousha Moore, the system’s chief human resources officer, said the effort is an extension of the community work we have been doing for over 30 years and that the training will help graduates break into the field.

“We’re looking at pipelines to a very skilled workforce where professionals can have several careers in our system,” Plousha Moore told the publication.

We also work with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on the Career Pathways Institute. It was established in 2015 to provide graduating high school seniors with part-time work in patient care with the expectation that students would continue to work for the System through college. This program gives the selected students valuable work experience during the school year and summer months, while connecting them with professionals who can serve as a mentor.

I’m proud to be part of such a forward-thinking organization that is working on preparing not just the workforce needed today but the healthcare workers of the future.

Gene Woods is the president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System and was also elected to serve as chairman of the American Hospital Association in 2017. He is passionate about healthcare, is fluent in Spanish and is an accomplished musician. Gene likes to hear from the community, so send thoughts or questions to him, follow him on Twitter @GeneAWoods and learn more about him.