Cleveland Clinic, Ascension Michigan and Catholic Health Announce Innovative $20 Million Partnership to Benefit Caregivers

Apr 10, 2019 | News & PR

Detroit, MI – Cleveland Clinic, Ascension Michigan, Catholic Health and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced today an innovative partnership aimed to better support healthcare caregivers.

The program, called Transformational Healthcare Readiness through Innovative Vocational Education (THRIVE), was conceived by Cleveland Clinic and will be piloted across three regions — Cleveland Clinic in Northeast Ohio, Catholic Health in Western New York, and Ascension Michigan in Southeast Michigan — over the next three years to demonstrate how health systems can better support caregivers. The program will be supported by a cumulative investment of more than $20 million, including more than $15 million in grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

Healthcare is projected to be the largest employment sector in the U.S. economy by 2026, and the fastest growing occupations in the sector are “direct care” or “front-line” caregivers. But despite the number of job openings, recruitment and retention of caregivers remains a pervasive challenge. Many caregivers may also face barriers to success which can lead to high rates of turnover.

The THRIVE model is a collaborative and strategic approach to better support caregivers through implementing new screening tools, tailored life skills support and enhanced training.

How the THRIVE Model Supports Caregivers 

“THRIVE is a great opportunity for the Foundation to help facilitate and support an unprecedented partnership between three health systems working within three major cities and regions to better support, recognize and value caregivers,” said David O. Egner, president and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “The program sits at the intersection of two of our grant-making focus areas – caregivers and workforce development. And with caregiver recruitment and retention being a challenge that exists beyond the Foundation’s two primary geographies of Western New York and Southeast Michigan, our hope is for THRIVE to serve as a sustainable model that can be implemented nationwide.”

“We strive to be the best place to work in healthcare and the THRIVE model furthers our commitment to support caregivers’ personal growth and development by leveraging innovative education strategies, realistic simulation experiences and integrated spaced learning technology,” said Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Executive Chief Nursing Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “We are very excited to work with Ascension Michigan, Catholic Health and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to launch this new model.”

“As one of the largest providers of healthcare in Western New York and a quality leader in our community, this is a great opportunity to partner with other like-minded organizations who understand the vital role these caregivers play in meeting the growing needs of the sick and elderly in nursing homes and home care settings,” said Joyce Markiewicz, Catholic Health Executive Vice President and President & CEO of Home and Community Based Care. “We are grateful to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for supporting our collective efforts to create better training opportunities and address other workforce issues that will give our caregivers the tools and resources they need for long term success.”

“We are looking forward to working on this innovative project with these health systems to help increase the retention of caregivers within the rustbelt region. Ascension Michigan cares for our communities through more than 150 sites of care across 30 counties, and we are ready to create a support system for entry-level caregivers,” said Dr. Joseph Cacchione, Ascension Michigan CEO and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension Medical Group. “Caregivers have long served as the backbone of healthcare and it is time that we all work together to build their support systems.”

The core of THRIVE will include a screening to proactively identify caregivers most at risk of encountering work readiness and success barriers, providing 1:1 coaching through caregiver support specialists, and implementing THRIVE curriculum during the few months after a new hire starts.