Tying Staff Recruitment and Retention to Racism

On May 17, CALTCM sponsored an excellent webinar on Systemic Racism and Microaggression in PALTC: A Call to Action.  This recording is available on the CALTCM website.  Some of the actions suggested by Dr. Philip Sloane were to create a universal Long-Term Care benefit, increased Medicaid rates, improved resourcing and support for low performing nursing homes, and increased pay and benefits for CNAs.  While likely to reduce racial disparities, these interventions are unlikely to occur in the near future.  We can hope MediCal rates may improve, especially if there are enhanced financial public reporting requirements for related ancillary businesses (as would occur if California’s AB 650 [Stern] were enacted). 

One area that PALTC companies can enhance is in the area of staff recruitment and retention targeting people of color.  PALTC is an excellent training opportunity for entry-level workers to improve their healthcare expertise.  

What are you doing to become a training site for home care or CNA trainees?  Once you have recruited these newly certified workers, what are you doing to advance their training and retain them?  Dr. Sloane calls for more pay, benefits, and scholarships for minority students.   

As I look back at my many years as a Medical Director of a large CCRC, I am proud of their efforts to do the above.  I can readily recall many members of our diverse staff who have become LVNs, RNs, and key members of our leadership team.  These successes need to be touted by your HR team as you reach out to your community to improve your facility staffing.  In doing so, you will be breaking down racial disparities and have a direct opportunity to mitigate microaggressions.  It’s time to take advantage of our heightened awareness of racism by enhancing the career track of our future employees.  This may require more financial resources and creativity, but the benefit of improved staff retention, expertise, and wellbeing should justify these actions.  

I look forward to hearing success stories on this subject at our annual meeting this October.

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