HCA Healthcare's chief HR officer on caring for healthcare employees

Jennifer Berres, HCA Healthcare’s chief human resources officer, joined the system in late 2019, just months before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many healthcare executives at the time were charged with quickly figuring out how to best protect patients, Ms. Berres' priority was caring for the clinicians and staff as they provided care during a very uncertain time.

In many ways, caring for the ones who care for others is an act of patient safety in and of itself, making sure these professionals were supported, ready and had what they needed to take care of themselves and patients by extension. 

"We were in the middle of a crisis," Ms. Berres said in a Q&A published by HCA Healthcare May 3. "We had to think about our people and protect them in every way possible."

Fast-forward to May 2023, just a few days before the COVID-19 public health emergency expires in the U.S., Ms. Berres is now leading HCA Healthcare through a new HR initiative — one that is focused on building and retaining a pipeline of talent that can respond to the rapidly changing healthcare needs of today.  

"We're really focused on elevating talent acquisition and onboarding — on building a talent pipeline that responds to the challenges of today and prepares us for tomorrow. We're looking to invest more deeply in delivering a learning and performance culture. We've made great progress and over the next few years, we're looking at how we create opportunities for our colleagues to grow in their roles and careers while delivering truly exceptional patient care."

Part of that agenda includes elevating the voices of staff and clinicians already in the organization, she noted. 

"We're asking our HR and operational leaders how are we giving our colleagues voice in the decisions that matter and closing the loop when we take action and how are we creating inclusive and diverse work experiences that instill a sense of belonging," she said. "We believe that getting these things right is critical to winning the war for talent and becoming the employer of choice."

Ms. Berres said HCA Healthcare is also focused on adopting new technology platforms that allow employees to more clearly see their paths forward at the company in terms of professional development, which she hopes will further bolster retention in such a competitive talent market.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars