In March, six health systems formed Evolve Alliance, a human resources collaboration that will address employee well-being, diversity and inclusion, and staffing problems, among other things.
Early in the pandemic, some of those six systems had reciprocal staffing agreements to help handle surges in COVID-19 patients. Nurses from Intermountain Healthcare in Utah came to Northwell Health in New York City, and some nurses from Northwell went to Henry Ford Health in Michigan as well as to Intermountain. In each case, the receiving hospitals paid workers the same rate they would have earned at their home hospitals.
“It was a straight pass-through of costs,” said Joseph Moscola, executive vice president of enterprise services at Northwell.
Henry Ford Health provided housing and food allowances to visiting workers. The help from out-of-state nurses allowed the system’s own nurses to take some time off, said Jan Harrington-Davis, vice president of talent acquisition and workforce diversity at the system. “They were just very tired and overworked but also very committed,” Harrington-Davis said. “It was during a time when we had more patients than care providers and really needed help.”
The alliance grew out of those collaborations.
“It was definitely to formalize what we were doing and even extend it to a broader range,” Moscola said. “We’re not in each other’s competitive markets.”
Along with Henry Ford, Intermountain and Northwell, the alliance’s other members are AdventHealth in Florida, Atrium Health in North Carolina and OhioHealth. As part of the alliance, they participate in legal training and work together to determine best practices in human resources but avoid topics like salary and strategy, Moscola said. They’re also planning leadership exchanges and other programs.