Mosaic Life Care Supports its Employee Caregivers with Skill Development and Opportunity

The title of the article (Mosaic Life Care Supports its Employee Caregivers with Skill Development and Opportunity" is superimposed over a photo of the Mosaic Life Care hospital. The blue sky is seen overhead with a few wispy clouds. The hospital has many windows and the building has a curved shape.

Even in a Tumultuous 2020, Mosaic Life Care Supports its Employee Caregivers with Skill Development and Opportunity

Sees Tremendous Impact on Retention, Internal Advancement

Mosaic Life Care (Mosaic) operates medical centers in St. Joseph and Maryville, MO, and has 60+ clinical facilities offering urgent, specialty, and primary care within Missouri and Nebraska. Mosaic offers a life-care model which combines traditional acute health delivery with a focus on key life elements which affect overall wellness. Mosaic has a commitment to health, well-being and the vitality of the community that it serves.

Being part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Mosaic is very focused on high-quality, data-driven, evidence-based medical care. It also takes care of its employees (called caregivers).  In 2020, Forbes magazine ranked Mosaic in the top 15 among 2,500 employers in Missouri for best state employer. Mosaic believes in its mission to serve the community through opportunity, workforce development, and employee career growth. It stresses that whatever employees choose to do in the organization, that each role is important and vital to patient care.

In 2009, seeing that environmental, admin, and nutrition caregivers were sometimes overlooked for leadership development opportunities, Mosaic began looking for ways to increase career growth and opportunity for its frontline entry-level team members. Mosaic also wanted to reduce turnover within these groups. To help with all these issues, the HR education staff found a program offered by Catalyst Learning called School at Work (SAW).

SAW is a comprehensive education and career planning experience that strengthens communication, core education skills, and medical terminology. It also helps entry-level caregivers understand the key role they play in patient care and impact on the HCAHPS rating. SAW helps health systems reduce turnover, increase employee engagement, and prepare employees for the next level of learning.

Micah Robison is a Workforce Development Specialist at Mosaic and also a SAW coach/facilitator.  Ms. Robison believes that sometimes a confidence builder is just what an associate needs. She states that,

“Many of the SAW participants didn’t have the best education background or have not had much opportunity.  But after SAW graduation, I hear things like ‘we can’t believe the change we have seen in her’ and the term ‘go getters’ when managers beam about employee work level. Managers are letting me know when ex-SAW graduates are applying for promotions. As a SAW coach, this gives me pride to know that my students are improving job performance and pursuing more job responsibility.”

Mosaic Life Care School at Work, 2019 Graduates.  15 people are standing clustered together holding flowers and certificates. They are standing in front of three projection screens showing "SAW Guest Speakers" at their graduation ceremony.
Mosaic Life Care School at Work Graduates

A SAW student at Mosaic felt so confident after her graduation that she entered nursing school. Another student working as a 3rd shift housekeeper used SAW to propel her to a job she had dearly wanted and  became an Access Rep. SAW coaches keep hearing about these “light bulb” moments when employee caregivers realize that their role within Mosaic is just beginning, and that there are growth opportunities within the health system.

To leverage SAW and promote career and responsibility expansion, Mosaic partners with local Missouri Western State University. This university offers 3 hours of elective credit for students that complete the 6-month SAW experience. This encourages SAW graduates to get back to school to take advantage of the credit.

Mosaic Life Care School at Work, 2018 Graduates (16 women shown in two rows with the back row standing. There are 10 in the back row and 6 seated in the front row. The group is smiling and are posed toward the camera
Mosaic Life Care School at Work Graduates

One of Mosaic’s SAW graduates who enrolled at MWSU is Aron Battreall. Ms. Battreal had been thinking about going back to school when she heard about the SAW program from a co-caregiver. She enrolled in SAW to get comfortable with assignments and to build confidence. She mentioned that Medical Terminology was particularly beneficial for her role. As a Medical Biller II, the terminology improved Ms Battreal’s efficiency and helped her expand the questions she asks insurance companies. She also has a better understanding of patients’ medical records.

Aron noted that “SAW boosted my confidence enough to go to my management team and express interest in taking on more responsibility. It also gave me confidence to enroll at Missouri Western State University and I will graduate with a BS in Population Health in December 2021.” Ms. Battreall also expressed the impact of the SAW opportunity on her loyalty to Mosaic.

Mosaic Life Care School at Work, 2017 Graduates. 11 people (7 women standing in the back, three women and 1 man sitting in a row in front, the man is on the right). Everyone is smiling and looking into the camera
Mosaic Life Care School at Work Graduates

“By investing in us, it makes my fellow caregivers and I feel appreciated, and I know my classmates and I work harder to be able to give back to the hospital.”

Aron Battreall, Medical Biller II, Mosaic Life Care

Mosaic has offered SAW since 2009 – that is 12 years of commitment to entry-level caregivers!  2020 was a particularly tough year because of COVID, but it did not stop progress. Mosaic offered two classes in March before the nationwide shutdowns.  It resumed class in May started offering hybrid learning models.  Mosaic even continued to have guest speakers from within the hospital present opportunities to the class via Skype. With a combination of outside-the-box thinking, flexibility with staffing issues, some IT support, and with open communication lines, SAW was able to proceed.

Experiences like this, even without a pandemic, aren’t available to entry-level caregivers without strong executive support.  Janelle Lee, Vice President of HR and OD, championed the extension of L&OD to include non-clinical caregivers from its beginning.  She describes Mosaic leadership’s cultural desire to “teach caregivers to fish”, its commitment to community development, and School at Work as “a backbone.” The health system’s goal for skill growth and education also means less employee turnover, and supports Mosaic’s greater goal to improve the community through health and opportunity.

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