Through funding from Workforce Santa Cruz County (2021-2023) and the California Workforce Development Board, in partnership with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, via the High Road Training Partnerships Resilient Workforce Program (2023-2026), our Workforce Development Program aims to build, strengthen and diversify the Santa Cruz County healthcare workforce with qualified individuals who can best support and provide health services to the community.
Increase opportunities for Santa Cruz County residents to advance in health professions
Align and expand education and training through pipeline programs, work-based learning, and continued professional development
The Santa Cruz County Health Workforce Council is structured to reflect a comprehensive representation of healthcare workforce issues, with the purpose of mobilizing leaders and organizations to collaborate and invest in local planning for the future of the healthcare workforce in our county. We are seeking interested healthcare employers, workers, training partners, and students to join this effort.
Santa Cruz County
Health Workforce Council
Areas of Focus
Integrated Behavioral Health Action Coalition (IBHAC) Workforce
Monterey Bay Community Health Workers Collaborative
Santa Cruz County Nursing Workforce Council
Primary Care Workforce
Health Workforce Track Champions
Jasmine Nájera, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer at the Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance (PVPSA) and IBHAC Workforce Sub-Meeting Workgroup champion.
Adrienne Saxton, MPH, CHES
Health Science faculty member at Cabrillo College and Monterey Bay CHW Collaborative champion.
Ashlyn James, CMA (AAMA)
Medical Assisting Program Director and Department Chair at Cabrillo College, and Medical Assistants Workgroup champion.
Cal Gordon, MD
Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Deputy Health Officer and CMS Medical Consultant, and Primary Care Workforce Workgroup champion.
Regional Vice President at the Hospital Council Northern & Central California and Santa Cruz County Nursing Workforce Council champion.
Health Workforce Council Quarterly Meetings
HIP began communication with the county workforce development boards of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara, in 2016 to identify gaps in our local healthcare workforce that could be addressed by the Central Coast Slingshot Initiative, a regional grant program to develop mid- to high-skilled professionals, alleviate workforce shortages, promote income mobility, and accelerate economic growth on the Central Coast. With the awarded grant, HIP worked in collaboration with local partners to identify a lack of community health workers in the region performing public health outreach and care coordination. As a result, HIP teamed up with Cabrillo College to establish the county’s first community health worker certificate track.
HIP supports the development of a strong, knowledgeable workforce through programs that enhance the skills of all health workers. In 2017, HIP began offering an Institute for Health Care Communication workshop titled, The Empathy Effect (EE) Countering Bias to Improve Health Outcomes. The goal of the workshop is to enable health center staff to improve their empathy conveyance skills and is based on the ideas that empathy is healing, and judgment is harmful; vulnerable populations experience greater harm by judgment and lack of empathy, and we all have judgments, and we can learn to mitigate them.
Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, the goal of the Safety Net Workforce Diversification project is to improve access to training and education for underrepresented populations in the healthcare workforce by providing training, opportunities for peer learning, tools, and resource sharing that support Safety Net Clinic Coalition (SNCC) member organizations. In addition, this project aims to provide SNCC leadership with training and best practices concerning the titles, roles, training curriculum, recruitment, and retention strategies for non-licensed staff (e.g., community health workers, health navigators, and health coaches).