Mercy Health Recognized by Health Care Leader Organization, CareerSTAT, for Developing Frontline Workers

John Schwartz and Kelly Wilczak
John Schwartz, CHRO, and Kelly Wilczak accept the award from CareerSTAT on behalf of Mercy Health for advancing the frontline worker on June 19, 2017 in Philadelphia.

Mercy Health is among 11 health care employers to receive an award given by CareerSTAT’s Recognition Committee, which selected four health care employers as 2017 Frontline Healthcare Worker Champions and seven organizations — one being Mercy Health — as Emerging Champions. CareerSTAT’s recognition program showcases health care organizations making exemplary investments in their frontline workforce.

Mercy Health is one of seven recognized Emerging Champions that is investing in their frontline employees, and striving to expand, sustain or evaluate their programs. Motivated to meet the increased demand for a sizable and healthy workforce since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Mercy Health has made it a strategic priority to grow regional pipelines of talent and develop employees who come into the organization.

Mercy Health fosters frontline workers through the Medical Assistant (MA) Apprenticeship program, where colleagues receive the clinical training and education to become certified medical assistants, while also earning a paycheck from Mercy Health. Many of these program’s participants have experienced barriers to receiving an education or when trying to transfer into their desired field of health care.



Teresa Beltran, headshot, resized
Teresa Beltran, MA

Teresa Beltran, MA, one of the first MA Apprenticeship graduates, knew she wanted to make a move to a career in nursing but had no clear idea of how to get there, until she heard of the MA Apprenticeship program. After graduating from the program in December 2016, Beltran was selected by one of the physician offices where she had apprenticed and now works full-time at Mercy Health as a medical assistant.

Another example of elevating frontline colleagues is the CHEST (Certified healthcare Environmental Services Technician) Certification process. Aimed at colleagues who have worked in Environmental Services at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s for longer than six months, and funded by the Saint Mary’s Foundation, CHEST certification consists of online exams based on several modules built around a typical day in the life of an environmental services colleague. As of June 2017, 28 colleagues have undergone this certification in the past twelve months.





Katelyn Vos Greg Kolenda Tim Wilson
Environmental Services colleagues, from left to right: Katelyn Vos, Greg Kolenda and Tim Wilson.

“This certification process demonstrates to our Environmental Services colleagues the ‘why’ behind what they do, and how they contribute to elevating patient satisfaction and reducing healthcare-associated infections on a daily basis at our organization,” said Kent Miller, MHA, FAHE, CHESP, T-CHEST director of Environmental Services/Sustainability Officer.

An employer-led initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, CareerSTAT is a network of almost 200 healthcare and workforce leaders promoting investment in the skills and careers of frontline workers. They support healthcare organizations in developing, scaling and sustaining development programs by:

  • Engaging healthcare leaders in peer-learning.
  • Documenting effective workforce development programs and
  • Studying the business impact of workforce
  • Providing technical assistance on program
  • Recognizing Champion organizations.

Detailed profiles of all 11 Champions along with further information on their skill and career development programs are available on the CareerSTAT website.


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