CCALAC Launches the CREW to Help Health Centers Navigate a New Workforce Landscape

Posted: November 5, 2021

LOS ANGELES – Nov. 5, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified staffing challenges for community health centers. Now more than ever health centers struggle with staff recruitment, retention, and well-being. Staffing shortages are high, retention rates continue to decline, and health center staff are reporting high levels of burnout.

In response, CCALAC developed the Collaborative for Retention, Engagement and Wellness (CREW) to provide support and solutions to address these workforce challenges. CREW is a 12-week program that combines didactic training, group discussion, and organizational interventions. Teams from 14 health centers are participating in the first cohort of the initiative, which launched Nov. 4.

The program design was informed by CCALAC’s 2021 Workforce Retention Survey, in which respondents voiced their need for support with employee wellness, retention, onboarding and recruitment. The survey showed that health centers experience the greatest challenge in recruiting medical assistants, behavioral health staff, nurses and physicians, and that employee turnover is highest among medical assistants. Beside burnout, participants cited salary and life circumstances as the most common challenges to retaining staff. In addition to CCALAC’s survey, the statewide 2021 California Primary Care Association Workforce Development Survey showed that health centers’ top workforce priority is strengthening employee mental well-being and safety.

CREW is a first step to addressing the unique workforce challenges facing health centers. The program is poised to support member clinics as they navigate this new workforce landscape.

CREW is funded by Blue Shield Promise Health Plan and the California Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and is developed in partnership with the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU), which brings a breadth of expertise in retention, recruitment, and employee wellness to the program. To learn more about CREW please check out this informational video or reach out to Eva Batalla-Mann at

Participating member clinics include:

  • The Achievable Foundation – Health Center
  • Asian Pacific Health Care Venture
  • BHS Health Center Network
  • ChapCare
  • Clinica Romero
  • Herald Christian Health Center
  • Kedren Community Health Center
  • Los Angeles Christian Health Centers
  • Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • John’s Well Child and Family Center
  • Universal Community Health Center
  • Valley Community Healthcare
  • Via Care Community Health Center
  • White Memorial Community Health Center

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 65 members that serve nearly 1.7 million patients throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit or call (213) 201-6500.

Contact: Taryn Burks – Communications Specialist, | (213) 201-6529

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