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Goldman Sachs Asset Management led the round, as part of its One Million Black Women initiative
The U.S. population is aging rapidly, with nearly one in four Americans expected be 65 years and older by 2060, which he number of 85-plus will triple, and the country will add a half million centenarians. That means that there's an increasing need for people to help take care of them: according to a recent report from PHI, there will be a projected 7.4 million total direct care job openings in the next decade.
Obviously, those workers will need to be trained and educated, and that's where CareAcademy comes in: the company provides home care and home health agencies with an online education platform to help train new caregivers, and to help level up those already in the field.
"By providing best-in-class training, CareAcademy is empowering caregivers to learn how to deliver the best care to older adults with the support, guidance, and compassion needed to improve their quality of life," Helen Adeosun, founder and CEO of CareAcademy, told VatorNews.
"We would then make it easy for caregivers to 'upskill' and continue their education over time to specialize, better serve clients and advance their careers."
On Wednesday, the company announced a $20 million round of funding led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, as part of its One Million Black Women initiative, in which it has committed $10 billion invest in companies that address disparities faced by Black women. Also participating in the round were MassMutual, Impact America Fund, Rethink Education, Unseen Capital, First Trust Capital Partners, and other prior investors, bringing CareAcademy's total funding to $33 million.
"This strategic investment comes at a time of unprecedented need for care delivered in the home and community during a critical staffing crisis, a workforce primarily made up of women and people of color, that is hindering the delivery of high-quality care at scale," said Adeosun."
"Having the support of Goldman Sachs’s One Million Black Women initiative, a $10 billion commitment to narrow opportunity gaps for Black women over the next decade, enables us to expand our reach to equip women of color, especially Black women, to reach their full potential."
CareAcademy works with agencies, franchisors, and caregivers nationwide to provide both initial training, as well as training to upskill their existing employees, through video-based classes and real world scenarios that walk them through aspects of the caregiver experience.
The platform automatically assigns required and recommended classes based on state requirements and role type, and sends automatic email and text reminders to ensure high completion rates. Administrators are able to assign condition-specific training or upskilling opportunities, upload custom content, and then create training completion reports at the individual, group, agency, or enterprise level.
"We design our programs with the needs of the caregiver at the forefront: we make education mobile-friendly and accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device. We also offer subtitle options in a number of languages," Adeosun said.
"We now train thousands of caregivers each month, helping them deliver the best care possible so they can enable better health outcomes for their clients. With our easy-to-use administrator platform, we provide the extra set of hands agencies need to manage their training and compliance so they can acquire and retain the talent needed to grow their business."
The company has also begun partnering with higher education institutions: last year, it launched the CAREer Path Initiative, which extends college credit from Southern New Hampshire University to direct care workers as they complete professional training within the CareAcademy platform for no additional charge.
CareAcademy's library includes more than 400 training resources, including both original content and courses from organizations like Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care dementia training, and nursing courses accredited by American Nurses Credentialing Center.
The company also provides 10 specialized certifications on conditions such as diabetes and dementia, as well as continuing education courses for licensed professionals such as nurses, occupational and physical therapists, and administrators. CareAcademy also developed a free COVID resource at the beginning of the pandemic, one that it deployed in just five days, to provide accurate information to direct care workers in a really uncertain time; it has been completed by over 40,000 people so far.
To date, CareAcademy has trained nearly 300,000 learners, including 40,000 Black women, with over 1.5 million hours of training delivered, to caregivers, home health aides, nurses, and administrators. The company's goal is to reach one million caregivers by 2023.
The company plans to use the new funding to accelerate product development, as well as its data measurement capabilities, in which it uses research methods, such as surveys and data analysis, to measure its impact, including the ability for its customers to retain their staff, and the impact of upskilling and quality training on recruiting and retention.
It also measures caregiver experience, such as learning outcomes, how they improve their skills and capabilities on the job, and access to meaningful career pathways and credentialing. Finally, the company measures improved patient outcomes, such as how quality training impacts care outcomes as the transformation of healthcare is shifting to value-based purchasing.
CareAcademy is coming along at a pivotal time for caregiving, as COVID accelerated the demand for healthcare in the home. That includes everything from home health to telehealth to hospital in the home opportunities, all of which only makes these jobs more coveted, and a platform like this more useful.
"That’s placing enormous pressure in our community of caregivers. We need to broaden our outlook on who is doing healthcare and empower them with the right skills and right toolsets," said Adeosun.
"We really strongly believe that delivering high-quality health care starts with high-quality education that’s across the entirety of the long-term care continuum – our professional direct care workers, our family caregivers, everyone who works with a patient must have access to educational support."
(Image source: careacademy.com)
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