CEO Messages

Workforce Challenges Need to Be a Top Priority for Our State and Federal Officials

I’m excited that thousands of athletes ages 7 to 18 — my cousin’s daughter included — are gathering this week in Sacramento for the 2022 USA Track & Field (USATF) National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. USATF’s mission is to “drive competitive excellence and popular engagement … in a safe environment for all.” This mission statement reminded me in a really inspirational way of the work hospitals have always done in their communities, and the particular challenges they face today.

Hospitals fill so many roles in the communities they serve: health care providers, health educators, employers, partners with public safety services, corporate citizens, and more. Their engagement makes them an integral part of these communities’ fabric; even their buildings are often among the most familiar landmarks in them. But without the most important resources, employees, none of it can work. Hospitals are competing for the best people, and circumstances often beyond their control like housing costs, possibly unsafe patient interactions, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a shortage of health care professionals in California that is deepening every year and affecting every aspect of care.

The numbThis edition of Council Connect contains several items related to workforce retention and development. First, an update from the Northern Sierra Section frames the problem as it affects not just that area, but the whole Hospital Council region. We know you’ll be inspired by an exclusive video showing one rural hospital’s innovative employee wellness program, and hope you’ll participate in the workforce survey being conducted by our sister organization, the Hospital Association of Southern California.

Additionally, a financial services settlement that reimburses organizations for the interchange fees they paid for accepting Visa or Mastercard payments between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 25, 2019, has received final approval, and the claims process will be available as soon as appeals are resolved. The deadline for this settlement is to be determined. 

Finally, don’t forget Hospital Council’s Administrative Support Conference: Celebrating the Professional You! on Oct. 6 in Sacramento. Whatever strategies are right for building the best possible workforce for your hospital, Hospital Council stands ready to offer its support.