17 health systems commit to hiring, promoting more low-income workers by 2027

Seventeen health systems including big names like CommonSpirit Health and Providence have signed onto a pledge that at least 10% of their new hires will hail from “economically disadvantaged areas” by 2027, according to a release from social determinants of health leadership organization the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN).

The so-called Impact Workforce Commitment agreed upon by the systems also includes a promise to increase the number of employees they will promote into skilled, high wage roles from positions that do not require a bachelor’s degree by 2027, according to HAN’s announcement.

“As the health care industry faces unprecedented challenges, we believe it is critical to invest in building a more diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the needs and experiences of the patients we serve,” Advocate Health Co-CEO Eugene Woods said in the announcement. “Through this coalition, we are proud to reaffirm our commitment to nurturing and developing talent while creating pathways of opportunity that empower our communities. A stronger, more resilient workforce improves the quality of care we provide.”

The goals will be pursued by a combination of new partnership programs with local community organizations, adjusted job descriptions and direct investments into workforce development initiatives such as tuition advancement, HAN said. To ensure that they are progressing and hold themselves accountable, the signatories will collect and submit data on their efforts to the HAN for review.

The specifics of the commitment were designed alongside the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and a leadership group at HAN. The full group of health system signatories comprises:

  • Advocate Health
  • Baystate Health
  • Bon Secours Mercy Health
  • Christus Health
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • CommonSpirit Health
  • Dartmouth Health
  • Fairview Health Services
  • Froedtert Health
  • Hawaii Pacific Health
  • Intermountain Health
  • Providence  
  • Rush University System for Health
  • The MetroHealth System
  • University Hospitals
  • The University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Utah Health

“The commitment by the 17 health systems represents a significant step towards promoting equity and opportunity in the healthcare sector,” HAN President David Zuckerman said in the announcement. “By providing stable jobs, benefits and career ladders for lower-income individuals, these health systems are not only making a positive impact on the lives of their employees but also the communities they serve."

HAN boasts more than 70 hospital and health system members and was founded by provider organizations in 2017 to push health systems “to leverage their hiring, purchasing, investing and other key assets to build inclusive local economies to address economic and racial inequities in community conditions that create poor health,” according to its website.

Prior and ongoing pledges brought by the group so far have included the Impact Purchasing Commitment and the Place-based Investment Commitment, both of which have 13 health system signatories listed online.