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STAR² Center

Tuesday, June 21, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Mariah Blake, Association of Clinicians for the Underserved

The STAR² Center (Solutions, Training, and Assistance for Recruitment and Retention), the workforce project of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) was created in July of 2014 through a national cooperative agreement from the Bureau of Primary Health Care(BPHC). The goal of the STAR² Center is to support workforce improvement through clinician recruitment and retention in community health centers. The STAR² Center supports health center recruitment and retention efforts by providing free training, technical assistance (TA), and an ever-expanding resource clearing house.


At the core of the STAR² Center’s resource building, training, and TA are the recently updated individual health center recruitment and retention Data Profiles. These Data Profiles are updated annually to reflect the most current data as it relates to clinician workforce at every Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The Profiles reflect a blend of public, private, and proprietary data and reflect an individual health center as it compares to national benchmarks in areas that relate to recruitment and retention. The individual Data Profiles are confidential and were sent directly to health center CEOs via email in March. Copies of individual profiles may also have been shared with PCA and PCO staff who signed a confidentially agreement with ACU.  Additionally, a state level, non-confidential State Aggregate Report was recently released to PCA and PCO staff. A review of the Data Profiles and State Aggregate Reports highlight individual health center strengths and weaknesses, as well as state and national health center trends in recruitment and retention.

To help health center staff interact with their recruitment and retention data, STAR² Center experts have created several original resources. The recently released Financial Assessment Tool uses a health center’s data to demonstrate the tangible costs of provider turnover. The Self-Assessment Tool also uses a health center’s input and identifies strategies to improve their provider recruitment and retention.

Based on a review of the Data Profiles and Self-Assessment Tool results, STAR² Center staff are able to plan and deliver various levels of training and TA to interested health center, PCA, and PCO staff. The STAR² Center conducts half-day Learning Lab trainings, general presentations, and TA booths in conjunction with state and regional conferences across the country. Learning Lab attendees are requested to complete the STAR² Center Self-Assessment Tool in addition to registration to help STAR² Center staff to provide training based on an up to date picture of each attendee’s workforce strengths, challenges, and concerns. Additionally, the STAR² Center conducts a Recruitment and Retention Webinar Series and appears on webinars related to workforce issues for PCA specific web-training.

If a health center is interested in discussing their recruitment and retention strengths and challenges with the assistance of STAR² Center staff, they are encouraged tocontact us to arrange for a TA consultation. Based on an initial conversation with STAR² Center staff, a health center will be paired with an expert STAR² Center Consultant for a personalized discussion of their particular recruitment and retention needs via phone or web-conference. Our consultants are experts in their fields who have been trained to work with STAR² Center original resources to provide targeted TA. These TA consultations are meant to help health centers to identify opportunities for improvement and provide concrete next steps toward their individual workforce goals. On-site TA is available in some instances. 

What can a health center, PCA, or PCO staff member do to access the STAR² Center?

·         Review your individual Data Profile and/or State Aggregate Report or contact Mariah Blake (mblake@clinicians.org) to request access to these resources;

·         View recorded webinars, tools, and National Data Review in the STAR² Center Resource Center;

·         Download the Self-Assessment Tool and Financial Assessment Tool to guide your workforce team discussion;

·         Find a STAR² Center training near you or contact us to request a training at your conference; and

·         Request Technical Assistance to continue working toward your recruitment and retention goals with the help of STAR² Center staff.


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