The Direct Service Workforce (DSW) Learning Collaborative, created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), facilitates the development, implementation, and expansion of innovative strategies for strengthening the DSW, and addresses specific challenges among state Medicaid agencies. Arizona was highlighted for two successful training and recruitment strategies.
Arizona’s Home Health Aide/Direct Care Worker Training Program was highlighted as a successful training strategy to address the direct care worker training need. This high school-based program qualifies graduates to work as direct care workers in Arizona's networks of long-term care service providers. Each of the 20 high schools currently offering the program are approved by AHCCCS and are currently serving approximately 800 students.
Arizona was also highlighted for a successful recruitment strategy, implemented by AHCCCS managed care contractor, MercyCare, and its provider, Solterra, a senior living company. Together, they launched Careworks. Careworks strives to bring more benefits and services to the Direct Service Workforce (DSW) such as providing a free tuition platform and hourly compensation for a caregiver certificate.