Top 25 Emerging Leaders
Jon Joffe, 33
Director, employment and workforce relations
In a tight market, Jon Joffe still recruits record numbers of nurses for OhioHealth. Yet even with his recruiting successes, he's excited about a new approach for meeting the talent demand. Two years up and running, it is about to yield first fruit.
This year OhioHealth's Grant, Riverside and Doctors Program will produce its first nurse graduates. The GRAD program lets the central Ohio healthcare system's employees work part time, receive full-time benefits and enter an accelerated learning program at Columbus State Community College. OhioHealth pays full tuition and related expenses, provides busing to the college and arranges a flexible work schedule. GRAD also is open to the dependent spouses and children of employees.
Although the initial class will number only six, 200 employees of the Columbus-based healthcare system are enrolled and working toward degrees as medical coders, nurses, radiology technicians and respiratory therapists.
"We expect every year to graduate 30 to 50 more than the year before," says Joffe, who points to this program as his greatest achievement. It will help close difficult-to-fill openings at Grant Medical Center, Riverside Methodist Hospital and Doctors Hospital in Columbus, plus additional hospitals, health and surgery centers, home-health and other service suppliers in OhioHealth's 46-county region.
The initiative originated from problem-solving. "We needed more nurses. A lot of employees said they wanted to be nurses, but they could not afford to get a degree," says Joffe, who is director of employment and workforce relations at OhioHealth.
"The GRAD program is a national best practice for how to partner with an educational center in the community and develop high-quality personnel," Joffe says. "We are looking in our own backyard. We are not just recruiting nurses from other hospitals."
"Jon is innovative, creative and a problem-solver. His success is built on outcomes. He is a great team-builder," says Debra Plousha Moore, OhioHealth senior vice president of human resources, who notes that he provided a "jump-start" to their recruitment effort when he joined.
At 33, he has advanced quickly in four years at OhioHealth, moving from manager of employment to director after five months.
In January 2002, he was promoted to his present position, responsible for hiring and orientation of the full 12,000-employee workforce of OhioHealth plus employee relations for 2,000 nonhospital employees.
He has worked hard with nursing leaders to increase nurse hiring, a top challenge. Nurse hires, previously below 400 per year, have risen to 500 or more annually for the past three years. He aims to reduce clinical turnover and improve nurses' working environment at least in part through a program to train more effective nursing leaders.
Joffe also runs a diversity recruitment program involving regular visits to six historically black colleges. Minority hiring of nurses at OhioHealth is up by 10%.