Bernard Jones headshot

Bernard Jones

“Great Friday news!!!” At first glance, it seemed that was the entirety of the email from Paula Squires, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, our senior vice president of Human Resources. But as I scrolled down to read what she had forwarded, I clearly saw why she was so excited. After a lot of hard work with a great team (Ron M. Walls, MD, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Shelita Bailey, director of Workforce Development; Carmen Santos, Workforce Development specialist; and Paula, among others), we had hired the first person through our Brigham Health SUCCESS Program.

SUCCESS is designed to increase employment opportunities at the Brigham for those members of our local communities whose life trajectories would be most transformed by them, whether due to incarceration for nonviolent offenses, past challenges with substance use disorder or simply the broad spectrum of life’s personal challenges that anyone can encounter. The program’s initial partnership is with STRIVE, a Dorchester-based organization that provides an intensive five-week training on workplace readiness, responsibility and professionalism, along with career-specific skills training. We work with STRIVE to identify graduates with career potential and an interest in health care and then help guide those graduates through our employment process.

It all sounded great in theory and it was a program we loved working on and describing to others, but it didn’t feel real until I got that Friday afternoon email. I quickly emailed back an excited response and walked over to Ron’s office. He had seen the news and we shook hands on a job well done, but we also agreed that this had to be the first of many. I’m hoping for many, many more “great news” emails and I doubt they will ever be any less exciting.

Bernard Jones
Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Brigham Health