Person: Michael Keenan
Job Title: President/CEO of Good Shepherd Communities
Representative Position on Broome Talent Taskforce: Good Shepherd Communities
Being the President/CEO of Good Shepherd communities, Michael Keenan runs one of Broome County’s major healthcare and nursing systems. Not only is the Good Shepherd name embedded into our community’s history, Good Shepherd has expanded and will continue to grow senior care access throughout the Southern Tier. With this responsibility at hand, Michael Keenan has a perspective of the local healthcare, business, and regulatory environment that he brings to the Broome Talent Taskforce in order to embolden Broome County’s workforce.
Michael Keenan notes that some of the biggest challenges to our workforce development is an inadequate supply of healthcare employees, specifically nurses, very closely followed by CNA’s and Home Health aides. We have an aging workforce and they are retiring, we don't have the numbers to replace them. When people look at Broome County, they look at quality of life. Activities, sports, education, and health. “That is such an important part of the community,” Keenan says. “It's a big concern for people. If we can’t figure out how to attract people and bring them into the healthcare professions, the county as a whole is going to suffer.” In Michael Keenan's eyes, there’s a key way to solve this problem. If the already excelling universities expanded their capacity, as well as if local employers provided more sites for students to do their necessary clinical rotations at, we would have greater retention of the highly educated students that pass through our area.
Keenan knows our greatest opportunities are twofold. We have amazing opportunities with our colleges, and in the short term, it’s a great solution. But in the long term, Keenan says that we need to get into our local schools and start talking about nursing career pathways. It’s not just that, Kennan also believes that when people think of nursing homes, they solely think of nursing and doctors. In reality, there are physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, building & maintenance crews, HVAC workers, chefs, dietitians, and landscapers on staff. The communal opportunities and benefits that come with a healthcare facility like Good Shepherd stretch far beyond nursing jobs.
Michael Keenan is on the regulations sub-committee, and actively seeks the best possible ways to provide his employees with the great benefits of working Good Shepherd while navigating the guidelines of federal and NYS regulations. According to Michael Keenan, skilled nursing homes have more regulations than nuclear power plants in the State of New York. Keenan enjoys working on the task force because it allows leaders in the healthcare community to talk about long term care, and also allows him to gain a better understanding of the issues that other fields of work face in the community. When it comes to fields like schools, manufacturing, industry, transportation, and the trades, being on the task force allows Keenan to understand a more global perspective of the challenges in our community. “It’s gotten me out of my niche, and into a much broader perspective of our community.”