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Feature Article

Shifting Job Market Spurs Innovation in Work Arrangements

Millions of Americans have left their jobs in the past two years as part of the pandemic‑driven “Great Resignation,” and Samaritan has not been immune to the challenging job market and shifting priorities of the workforce.

“We consistently have 200 more job openings at any one time than we did pre‑pandemic,” said John Heffron, director of talent acquisition. “Like most organizations, we have had to re‑evaluate our recruitment and retention strategies to ensure our organization is not only attractive to job seekers but a place where our employees want to continue to work.”

One way Samaritan has transformed to meet post‑pandemic employee expectations, including a greater emphasis on work‑life balance, is by embracing remote or hybrid work models and flexible schedules, knowing that those are big job satisfiers.

“There are many roles across the health system that don’t require employees be on site, and we have been able to transition those to remote‑only positions,” said Heffron. “Not only is this appealing for employees who live in our communities, it has allowed us to cast a wider recruitment net around Oregon and out of state.”

Today, nearly 700 Samaritan employees, primarily administrative or technical roles, are working in a remote/ hybrid model, including employees who live in Samaritan’s primary service area and as far away as Michigan and Florida.

“Samaritan is a special place to work, and actively evaluating our benefits and compensation packages, and ways in which we can support our employees, is a high priority for us,” said Gail Worden‑Acree, vice president of human resources.

One way Samaritan invests in employees is through the Workforce Pathways Program, which offers on‑the‑job training opportunities, including a pathway for non‑clinical employees to transition into clinical roles.

“We believe in lifelong learning and supporting continual personal and professional development,” said Roxanne Shaw, director of learning & development. “Workforce Pathways provides paid training and career advancement opportunities. For example, an employee in a non‑clinical role who has an interest in patient care can be trained and certified as a certified nursing assistant through our CNA Pathway Program or as medical assistant by participating in our Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program.”

In addition to supporting employees with learning and career opportunities, Samaritan has created groups to provide social support, mentoring, networking and community participation, and has worked to promote cultural awareness and employee engagement.

Samaritan employee resource groups launched earlier this year to advance equity and inclusion within the organization and to foster practices of respect and appreciation for multiple cultures, experiences, interests and perspectives.

The groups — Pride Alliance, Employees of Color, Veterans and DiverseAbility Alliance — work collectively to create informal spaces for employees with shared identities or common interests to gather and build community.

For more information about working at Samaritan, visit