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PHI Receives $10 Million Gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to Transform the Direct Care Workforce

March 7, 2022

NEW YORK — PHI is grateful to announce a $10 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott that supports our mission to transform the direct care workforce.

PHI is a national organization focused on strengthening the direct care workforce through research, advocacy, and workforce innovation. For more than 30 years, PHI has served as the country’s leading expert on direct care workers, guided by a philosophy that quality long-term care is rooted in quality direct care jobs.

“We are deeply honored to receive this transformative gift from MacKenzie Scott to support our unique leadership on the direct care workforce,” said Jodi M. Sturgeon, president at PHI. “This gift acknowledges the immense contributions of direct care workers and the critical need to improve their jobs so they can thrive financially and deliver the care we all need and deserve,” added Sturgeon.

In recent years, the direct care workforce has become more prominent in the national conversation on quality healthcare. The growing demand for services (spurred largely by an increase in the number of older adults) and the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the enormous value—and historically unrecognized nature—of direct care work.

Federal and state lawmakers have also become more interested in improving these jobs, recognizing that workers need more economic security, consumers deserve quality care, and employers must effectively recruit and retain more workers to curb the growing workforce shortage in this sector.

This gift—the largest in PHI’s 31-year history—will allow PHI to prioritize investment in four urgent programmatic areas, significantly expanding our impact in the field:

  • Grow the evidence base on the direct care workforce. PHI will rigorously evaluate new workforce interventions in direct care that build understanding of job quality in the sector and direct care workers’ contributions to the health care system.
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in direct care. PHI will build out its newly launched Direct Care Worker Equity Institute to include new offerings related to policy, practice, and research.
  • Shift the public narrative on direct care workers. PHI will invest in strategic communications, narrative-based partnerships, and capacity-building to re-frame how the public understands direct care.
  • Equip long-term care leaders with job quality tools. Finally, PHI will ensure that long-term care providers and policymakers have practical guidance for improving job quality in this workforce.

These four programmatic areas align with a new strategic plan for PHI, scheduled for release in June 2022.

Additionally, this gift will allow PHI to design new business development strategies and fundraising capacities, while being able to take calculated risks with new strategies that speak to emerging opportunities.

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Contributing Authors
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