West Michigan Provider Honored for Innovative Approaches to Talent Development,
Career Pathways

Mercy Health was honored at a statewide workforce conference today for its commitment to developing a pipeline of skilled and competent health care talent in the state.

Named the Michigan Works! Association 2017 Employer of the Year, Mercy Health received its award at the association’s annual conference in Mt. Pleasant.

“Mercy Health has taken a leadership role in growing the number of skilled, educated health care workers across its region,” said Luann Dunsford, chief executive officer of the Michigan Works! Association. “They have led a strong collaboration with West Michigan Works! in the creation of the USDOL medical assistant and sterile processing apprenticeship programs and the nationally-recognized Career Pathways initiative. At the same time, Mercy Health has broken new ground in its efforts to promote diversity in hiring among the construction partners in the multi-million-dollar Mercy construction project in Muskegon, Michigan.”

Dunsford noted the new Mercy Health-led programs have significantly increased the number of viable candidates for healthcare positions in West Michigan and have garnered attention across Michigan and the nation.

Mercy Health played a foundational role in the creation of the Medical Assistant Registered Apprenticeship Program (MARAP) — a first of its kind in the nation — which created opportunities for individuals who would have otherwise had significant barriers to entry in the healthcare field.

“Through a strong collaborative effort with West Michigan Works!, other West Michigan health systems and local community colleges, MARAP opens doors to a diverse group of individuals and provides wrap-around supports to those with more significant barriers to employment,” Dunsford said. “To date, Mercy Health has helped boost the diversity of its employees by about 60 percent over the last five years.”