CareerSTAT is an initiative to document and endorse the business case for investments in frontline hospital workers and to establish an employer-led advocacy council to promote investments that yield strong skill development and career outcomes for low-wage, frontline hospital workers.

This is an initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and JFF, its implementation partner.

The U.S. health care system is at a turning point. Health care providers face intense pressure to provide more—and better—services at a lower cost. At the same time, revenue streams from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers are uncertain, and the full implications of the Affordable Care Act are unknown. Just as important and hard to predict are the impact of new technologies and new models for coordinating care and delivering care in a more patient-centered way. The demand to demonstrate measurable evidence of hospital performance has rarely been greater.

Yet one thing remains constant: Health care is a distinctly personal, labor-intensive enterprise. It depends on millions of hands-on workers, not just doctors and nurses, but also nursing assistants, housekeepers, medical assistants, unit secretaries, dietary service workers, patient care assistants, and other critical members of the health care industry. Many of these “frontline workers” receive little job training, are generally unlicensed and poorly compensated, and have few opportunities to advance. Investing in their training and their careers benefits not only the frontline employees and their employers, but it is also essential for quality patient care.

CareerSTAT advocates for investing in the skill and career development of frontline health care workers and helps employers develop career pathway training programs. Led by a national collaboration of health care executives, CareerSTAT makes the case that these investments pay off by lowering turnover rates, and raising employees’ morale and performance.

How CareerSTAT Works

To foster new investments in frontline worker training and education, CareerSTAT:

  • Generates support among health care executives who will champion the business case for these investments
  • Recognizes employers who have made exemplary contributions to frontline workforce development
  • Documents effective practices and associated measures of success in a wide variety of hospital settings
  • Disseminates those best practices and the business case for investment in frontline workers to health care industry leaders and public policymakers
CareerSTAT outcomes to date

Since CareerSTAT launched with funding from the Joyce Foundation in 2011:

  • 69 health care leaders, funders, and workforce development professionals have joined its network.
  • 40 executives serve on CareerSTAT's steering committee, including leaders from some of America’s leading teaching hospitals and health care systems.


  • Connecting the Dots

    Connecting the Dots: A Case Study of Transforming Care and the Frontline Workforce at Unitypoint Health-Des Moines

    A growing number of health care employers have made substantial investments in the skill and career growth of their frontline staff—many of whom spend the most time with patients, taking vital signs or bringing meals. Iowa’s UnityPoint Health, a leader in developing frontline workers, is committed in transforming the way it delivers care. UnityPoint Health’s Des Moines hospitals and clinics are showing that it is possible to connect the dots between developing a skilled workforce and delivering better care. 

    Learn More