About Us

Why HOPE? Why Now?

The United States currently faces a healthcare workforce shortage of more than 700,000 jobs nationwide. In addition to current openings, about 26% of UW Health’s current workforce is nearing retirement. The US has an aging population, and as life expectancy increases, we’ll have more and more people who need quality care as they age. Growing demand for care and an already-short supply make for a dramatic need for healthcare professionals: by 2025, it’s estimated that the US will face a shortage of 200,000 physicians, 500,000 nurses, and 400,000 allied health professionals.

HOPE was founded by Dr. Bridgett Willey in 2013 to help young people of all backgrounds learn about the wide variety of careers in healthcare and identify the many pathways available. Whether a student is interested in direct or indirect patient care, laboratory roles, or administration and support work, HOPE benefits students by giving them access to information and ongoing support as they pursue careers that can positively impact their lives and their communities.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Mission is to develop and support accessible pathways into healthcare careers.

Our Vision is to support the delivery of Remarkable Healthcare by proactively

 addressing the impending healthcare workforce shortage and developing a UW Health workforce that is reflective of the patients and communities that we serve. We will accomplish this by centralizing education resources, developing and supporting pathways into healthcare careers, and engaging with K-12 schools, post-secondary institutions, community based organizations, workforce development partners, and our own incumbent staff who aspire to grow.

The Allied Health Education and Career Pathways Department strives to support the values of UW Health as follows:

  • Integrity – Focusing on the best interests of our learners, volunteers, and the UW Health faculty and staff. Operating in a manner that demonstrates honesty and transparency in all involved communities.
  • Innovation – Finding new ways to introduce healthcare careers education and pathways to all.
  • Compassion – Treating all learners, staff, and volunteers in a manner that fosters healthy environments for learning and development.
  • Accountability – Being individually and collectively responsible for the outcomes and experiences of those engaging in or aiding in the distribution of the services of our department.
  • Respect – Valuing differences among learners, volunteers, and UW Health faculty and staff to enhance the opportunities we provide. Encouraging feedback and actively listening to participants to continually improve experiences.
  • Excellence – Developing and offering the best resources for both our learners and UW Health communities.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Assisting in the development of a UW Health workforce that is reflective of the patients and communities that we serve.

What We Do

Career Pathways has two main goals: 

  • First, to support UW Health by building and maintaining a long-term high-quality and diverse workforce pipeline;
  • Second, to support underrepresented youth by developing accessible pathways into healthcare careers, including experiential learning, mentorship, and meaningful employment opportunities

We partner with local community-based organizations and institutions to engage youth and adults, especially those whose identities are underrepresented in healthcare, in career-exploration and work-based learning programs. Our programming, which includes ongoing advising and meaningful work experiences, helps our audiences think about their interests, priorities, ideal futures, and career paths within healthcare. Our hope is that many of our “customers” will enter the field and work for UW Health.

In short, we seek to Find Them, Engage Them, Grow Them, and Hire Them.