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Learning: The Lifeblood of Health Care
The prescription for Banner Health to remain at the cutting edge of the health care landscape is a healthy dose of L&D under the tutelage of SVP and CTO Ed Oxford.
Banner Health Senior Vice President and Chief Talent Officer Ed Oxford
Sweeping federal reforms, budding advancements in medical technologies and an economy in flux are just a few of the macro trends that are shaping the nation’s constantly evolving health care industry. Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the United States, has risen to the challenge in no small measure by strengthening the pulse of its learning and development arm to meet the growing needs of its workforce and, ultimately, its patients.
Spanning seven states and based in Phoenix, Banner Health’s 35,000-plus employees work in facilities ranging from small community hospitals to large urban medical centers.
“If you’re adding everybody that shows up to help us accomplish our mission on a day-to-day basis, we have more than 5,000 volunteers who show up; we have more than 5,000 active students and interns, plus thousands of temporary employees that we bring on board as well,” said Ed Oxford, a senior vice president for Banner Health and the company’s chief talent officer.
Altogether, more than 45,000 people leverage Banner Health’s learning services, which Oxford oversees, each year.
Why Health Care?
Upon garnering a wealth of expertise at his preceding jobs — including serving as principal consultant on organizational transformation at PricewaterhouseCoopers and occupying various leadership roles in organizational development and human resources at Motorola — Oxford was poised for his debut in the health care field in July 2007, when he joined Banner Health.
“The health care industry is an exciting place to be,” he said. “Health care reform, new medical treatments, the need to attract more people in the health care professions — the list goes on, but it’s clear that a career path in health care, for me and for a lot of others, is stimulating and rewarding.”
As the health care industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it’s imperative that the learning function at Banner Health constantly adapt its learning needs and delivery methods.
“We have to have people know how to embrace change [and] to have leaders who not only have a passion for the complexity of our business, but also a tolerance for the ambiguity that occurs every single day as they try to accomplish their tasks,” Oxford said. “Having people who appreciate that complexity so that they can keep to the task of achieving our mission is critical.”
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