Help wanted: Inova Health System expands training to build a precision medicine workforce

What does day-to-day life look like for the professionals in our industry? HOTEL MANAGEMENT met with the DelMonte Group's VP of HR to find out.
To change the future of medicine, you need to hire the right workers.

Inova Health System’s Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI) is betting big on personalized and precision medicine.

And the Falls Church, Virginia, organization is hiring to ensure that bet pays off. Current openings include clinical researchers and genetics counselors, but they’re also looking for a senior cloud systems engineer, a bioinformatics software engineer and a personalized medicine data architect to support researchers and clinicians.

It turns out it’s hard to invest in the future of medicine without a robust workforce that has the clinical and technical chops to support it.

RELATED: Inova Health System bets big on precision medicine

This fall, Shenandoah University will start teaching Inova employees and others to fill the demand for genetic experts at the Inova Center for Personalized Health campus, which is part of ITMI.

“Most of the doctors and nurses out there weren’t trained in this,” Tracy Fitzsimmons, Shenandoah’s president, told the Washington Business Journal. “We can’t have a new form of healthcare workforce if we don’t have the students trained.”

RELATED: Hype surrounds precision medicine, but significant challenges remain

Certificate programs—which are faster and more market-based—will allow current employees to quickly expand their skills in the areas Inova needs, Todd Stottlemyer, CEO of the Inova Center for Personalized Health, told the publication.

"We need more talent across the board in disciplines like pharmacogenomics and genetics," Stottlemyer said. "We're training the workforce of tomorrow."

In Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and the Destination Medical Center, a private-public development initiative designed to position Minnesota as a global center for high-quality medical care—and to generate high-value jobs, new tax revenue and businesses—is also working to overcome hurdles that include a talent gap and the healthcare industry's risk-averse culture.  

RELATED: In Mayo's $5.6B medical technology-focused neighborhood, culture and talent gaps are hurdles to innovation

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is also supporting healthcare research and delivery by promoting interoperability, accelerating innovation through pilots and testing and advancing standards. A recent blog post outlined the pilot programs under the umbrella of its Precision Medicine Initiative.

Harvard Medical School and four EHR companies will develop, test and implement application programming interface (API) endpoints within patient portals at selected care provider sites.

RELATED: 3 tech breakthroughs that will change medicine

And ONC and the National Institutes of Health are working on a program to independently assess whether Sync for Science (S4S) pilots implement appropriate privacy and security principles, verify and validate safeguards and provide privacy and security tips to facilitate participants’ data-sharing.