Kaiser Permanente, union launch nonprofit to train allied healthcare workers

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West are teaming up to address the healthcare worker shortage.

The union and healthcare giant have launched Futuro Health, a new $130 million nonprofit organization that aims to increase the number of certified allied healthcare workers in California and across the U.S., they said in a joint news release Jan. 8. These include licensed vocational nurses, medical coders, health information technicians, radiologic technicians and laboratory workers.

Futuro Health, established as part of a labor agreement between Kaiser and SEIU-UHW, will invest in allied health education and skills training and retraining. 

The new "education-to-work" model will begin in California, which, according to a 2014 Public Policy Institute of California report, is expected to require about 450,000 new healthcare workers by 2024, Kaiser and the union said. They then plan to expand efforts to other states.

Overall, Futuro Health seeks to graduate 10,000 licensed, credentialed allied healthcare workers in California by 2024, with SEIU-UHW, Kaiser and Futuro Health leadership collaborating to recruit students.

"Kaiser Permanente recognizes California's healthcare industry is facing a projected workforce shortage of half a million people over the next few years," Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Greg Adams said in a news release. "By investing in health education, skills training and retraining programs with Futuro Health, Kaiser Permanente, in collaboration with SEIU-UHW, is leading efforts to reverse the shortage trend. This investment effort is consistent with our Nurse Scholars Academy and mental health postgraduate training program."

Dave Regan, president of SEIU-UHW, said in the news release that the new nonprofit organization "represents a new model for tackling the workforce shortage and training workers," and ensures access to high-quality, affordable healthcare.

Van Ton-Quinlivan has been selected as CEO of Futuro Health. She most recently was executive vice chancellor of workforce and digital futures at California Community Colleges.


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