Q: Your foundation recently recommended creating an “adequately prepared workforce” as a key element of improving healthcare for seniors. What does that mean? 

A:We have to have a complete interdisciplinary approach. There can be no care without a workforce. They need dignity, respect and a livable wage. They need scholarships, loan forgiveness and training to be able to get ready for the care they have to give. I’m incredibly optimistic [the Biden administration] will bring infrastructure change and innovation.

Q: How do we attract LTC workers?

A:We’re looking at every model we know to get people involved. We can train those who didn’t finish high school or even get a GED and encourage them to take positions such as the universal worker in the Green House model. … We have to get the right people by screening them and having them get a sense of the work. Show them they have the opportunity to change people’s lives.

Q: Does career advancement work?

A:CNAs don’t want a career ladder. They’re so sick of hearing these things. They want a living wage.They want transportation. They want child care or eldercare for their own parents. We have to have culture change and help them find joy in the work.