The need for caregivers is expected to grow by nearly 20 percent over the next few years, but healthcare providers are seeing fewer people enter the profession. Catholic Health of Western New York, alongside Cleveland Clinic and Ascension Michigan, will work together over the next three years in an effort to address the issue.
A program called THRIVE, also known as Transformational Healthcare Readiness through Innovative Vocational Education, is being supported with an investment of about $20 million, with more than $15 million coming from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
Catholic Health Executive Vice President Joyce Markiewicz said THRIVE, which was conceived by Cleveland Clinic, will help by implementing new screening tools, life skills support and enhancing training.
“Think about if you don’t have a whole lot of confidence. You’ve just completed a training course. Maybe you’re 19 years old and now all of a sudden we’re going to ask you to walk in to a patient’s home, in their territory. Someone you’ve never met before and go and provide them with a bath. That can be a very intimidating experience,” Markiewicz said.
Markiewicz said trainees will be assigned coaches.
“If you don’t know how to have basic conversation to break the ice to get that patient comfortable and get the aide herself comfortable, then that can be a very daunting experience for someone,” she said.
Markiewicz added each organization will be utilizing the same curriculum for training.
“The Wilson Foundation has hired an individual that will be part of the team at Cleveland Clinic and they’re job is going to be to collect data from all three organizations,” Markiewicz said. “And then we will be meeting on a regular basis to take a look at what is working and what isn’t working.”
The program is being approached as a study so they can measure results.
“Are people finishing the training class? Are people staying on board with us? What are the reasons why they’re leaving?” Markiewicz asked.
Markiewicz said some prospect caregivers currently leave the program because they can’t financially sustain themselves while training.
“Maybe they want to be a nurse, but they just don’t have the resources to go to school or they don’t have the ability,” she said. “So they may start off as a certified nursing assistance, come to work for Catholic Health, and then tap in to things like our assistance tuition program, so that they can go back to school.”