Wayne Ford

Wayne Ford
Community Advocate

Broadlawns Medical Center
Headquarters: Des Moines, IA
Business: Health Care
Website: www.broadlawns.org

Broadlawns Medical Center serves the most diverse patient population in Iowa—in a given week, more than forty languages may be spoken. In order to relate to such a diverse patient population and cultivate familiarity, understanding, and cultural sensitivity, building a diverse team is vital.

In 2018, the Center established the Broadlawns Local program, which addresses the social determinants of health and the underlying needs of the community. Social determinants of health include access to education, economic stability/employment, access to health care, neighborhood, and social support. Collectively, these social determinants of health have a greater influence on an individual’s overall health and wellness than their genetic code. Some of the Broadlawns Local initiatives that have been implemented include:

  • A fresh produce stand and blood pressure screenings
  • Freestanding libraries with books for adults and children at clinic entrances; participation in the KidsFirst reading program
  • Complimentary health workshops (smoking cessation, diabetes management, healthy aging, breastfeeding and mommy matters, pain management, etc.)
  • Baby boxes/baby bags with care essentials and car seats for new mothers and babies
  • Walk and Talk with a Doc: a weekly one-mile walk with physicians
  • Free clinics offering wellness visits and immunizations for those without access to insurance and/or with transportation considerations
  • Participation in community health fairs with blood pressure, depression, diabetic foot, vision, diabetes, bone density, and dental screenings

One of Broadlawns’ most noteworthy initiatives addressing diversity and inclusion has been the implementation of TECH and TEACH. As community advocate for Broadlawns, Wayne Ford helped initiate the TECH and TEACH job training programs aimed at people who have historically faced barriers to employment. Since piloting the job training programs (Training and Education for a Career in Healthcare) for high school seniors and adults in November of 2016, 66 individuals have completed the training, which includes earning a CNA certification. Seventy-five percent of these individuals are now employed at Broadlawns Medical Center.

In 2018, the TEACH program was established as a designated apprenticeship program for the State of Iowa. Conversations are ongoing with the Iowa Workforce Development staff to emulate this program at other medical centers throughout the state.