IN SPRING 2019, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH HEALTH JOINED THE HEALTHCARE ANCHOR NETWORK, WHICH INCLUDES 45 HEALTH SYSTEM MEMBERS. RYLEE CURTIS, U OF U HEALTH'S COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT DIRECTOR, SAYS THE NEW PARTNERSHIP WILL HELP U OF U HEALTH "LEVERAGE RESOURCES AS ANCHOR INSTITUTIONS IN THEIR STATES TO BETTER THEIR COMMUNITIES AND THEIR ECONOMIES."
Although new to the network, U of U Health has served as an anchor institution for many years, Curtis argues, citing collaborations such as U of U Health's Redwood Health Center and University Neighborhood Partners (UNP).
Redwood Health Center, whose patients speak 87 languages, has sought to make the health care experience less intimidating for their refugee patients. Redwood offers courses and classes that address, in culturally appropriate terms, health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.
Many of Redwood's patients also receive coordinated services through UNP. Those services include the Westside Leadership Institute and Startup Incubator, which allow residents to connect with local decision-making bodies, other entrepreneurs, and funding sources.
Those resources receive a boost on November 20-22, 2019, when U of U Health will co-host Healthcare Anchor Network's biannual conference in Salt Lake City, with a focus on leveraging philanthropic initiatives, including workforce development. Through strategies that connect frontline employees to pathways for career advancement, U of U Health has found that giving back to its own employees can also benefit the institution.
In 2014, U of U Health followed the lead of other hospital systems by seeking to free up pharmacists' time. By expanding the role of technicians to take on work traditionally done by pharmacists, such as checking all medication leaving the pharmacy, pharmacists were able to spend more time with patients. Expanding the technicians' role was easy on paper, says Chief Pharmacy Officer Linda Tyler and pharmacy technician manager Raghbir Makhar. But they discovered that finding applicants to fill the new positions was another matter.
One way to address the technician shortage was by starting an online technician certification course for entry-level U of U Health employees like medical assistants and cafeteria workers. They often have families or other responsibilities and struggle to make it to the end of the month, meaning they can't afford to attend school. For full-time U of U Health employees, the technician course is free, with...