Reflections from 2018

Straightaway Team
January 9, 2019
"Even though some days it feels like we're trying to move mountains, I'm so proud of everything we accomplished over the past year. We now have close to 30 customers, approvals in 11 states, hundreds of students in the course, and tons of momentum as we roll into 2019."

We learned a lot in 2018. We experienced many ups and a few downs, but we have made incredible strides within our product roadmap, client base, and overall goals. One thing has remained the same – our determination to make an impact in long-term care. We took a look back as a team to reflect on our greatest lessons of the year.

First and foremost, 2018 reaffirmed for us that the staffing crisis affects all of us. “With limited talent in the market and a growing demand for quality care, finding a solution to staff shortages is a top priority for many LTC communities,” said Vince Baiera, Director of Enterprise Accounts on the West Coast.

Our Manager of SMB Sales, Josh Ryan, echoed that sentiment, “Facility leaders are struggling to find and keep the right caregivers,” he said. “Most commonly they are staffing up by partnering with high schools, local colleges, or staffing agencies. While these strategies can help alleviate the burden, the relief is often temporary and costly. Many senior care leaders are recognizing that growing their own caregivers by becoming an approved training site is the only way to have a positive impact on staffing levels in the long term.”

Mike Benzian, Chief Operating Officer, is excited to have the scale of clients and facilities that we do. This has allowed us to learn how to continually improve our solution. “It’s awesome to see results from clients that show how using our CNA training program as a ‘CNA supply chain’ can generate employees to fill open positions,” he said. “We’ve been able to demonstrate success by making sales (and gaining regulatory approval) in several states. 2019 will be a year of continued investment in building a total solution – focusing on identifying and projecting future staffing needs and using a ‘CNA supply chain’ to create the capacity each client requires.”

Director of Sales and Marketing, Ramez Mikdashi, agreed: “2018 showed us that there is an appetite for setting up in-house CNA certification programs across the country. We signed clients with operations in more than 20 states last year. Also, regulators responded favorably to our approach and approved a number of clients who wished to use our program. On that note, it was significant that both California and West Virginia passed decisions allowing for online CNA training programs. While Straightaway’s program can be used online or with a live instructor, moves like California and West Virginia’s expand the list of options for our clients.”

In a similar vein, Jill Morris, Regulatory Support Specialist, learned a lot about the landscape of regulatory approvals nationwide, and chimed in with some good news for organizations who may be apprehensive about starting their own programs, “The biggest takeaway I’ve learned from 2018 is that organizations interested in conducting a new Nurse Aide training program need not be scared of the approval or oversight process,” she said. “It may seem daunting at first, but prospective programs should approach it with the understanding that states ultimately have a vested interest in the success of training programs. Recently a state Department of Health director told us they are desperate to get the word out to facilities that the state is here to guide and support, not penalize new programs. That’s not to say some states aren’t without their challenges, but Straightaway has learned a lot in the past year about the nuances of each state. If there’s one message we can impart to organizations considering a training program in 2019, it’s that we can do it! Straightaway is committed to helping communities figure this out.”

We at Straightaway are excited about the possibilities that 2019 holds for us.

Director of Client Care, Erica Mancuso, summed it up best, “We’re doing something that’s really tough to do. Perhaps that’s why no one else is tackling the CNA staffing challenge the way that we are,” she said. “One year ago, we were still a very new company with regulatory approval in two states and a handful of customers. Even though some days it feels like we’re trying to move mountains, I’m so proud of everything we accomplished over the past year. We now have close to 30 customers, approvals in 11 states, hundreds of students in the course, and tons of momentum as we roll into 2019.  I’m looking forward to all that we can do in 2019 and beyond!”

If you are interested in learning about our solution to staff shortages, contact us to schedule a call with our Account Management team.

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