ALL AROUND THE WORLD: Shadow Health on growth, expansion and the grant that made it possible


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In August 2014, Tina Jones made some unexpected friends.

Tina, a 28-year-old diabetic woman, was joined by eight-year-old Danny Rivera suffering from persistent cough, 78-year-old Esther Park complaining of abdominal pain, and Brian Foster, a 58-year-old man recovering from routine surgery.

What does Tina have in common with Danny, Esther and Brian?

They are all virtual patients in the Digital Clinical Experience, an interactive learning environment created by educational software developer Shadow Health. These educational environments enhance curricula at nursing and allied health education programs, while also addressing the critical issue of maintaining quality-of-care in the face of increasing provider shortage.

In addition to expanding the number of virtual patients offered, Shadow Health serves more than 400 nursing programs in North America. To support this growth, the company scaled its workforce through CareerSource North Central Florida’s Healthcare, Biomanufacturing, Occupational & Technology Training (HBOTT) program.

“[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”] [fusion_builder_row] [fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”] [HBOTT] has impacted Shadow Health’s ability immensely to allow us to scale at a quicker rate to meet the needs of our product in the business, while allowing us to not only integrate the new employees in the company but to get them up to speed with the technology, hardware, software and programming skills that we use here,” said Shadow Health Human Resource Director Karen Oakey.

Funded through an H1-B Technical Skills Training grant provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, HBOTT allows employers to hire, train and retain eligible employees in permanent positions by providing reimbursement for on-the-job (OJT) training costs. HBOTT provides more than $3 million in training funds for local unemployed or underemployed workers in healthcare, bioscience, advanced manufacturing and information technology occupations often filled by foreign workers.

HBOTT enables Shadow Health to hire for high-skill positions, including beta testers, programmers, web developers, multimedia artists and business development managers. Shadow Health hired 34 professionals with the assistance of HBOTT on-the-job training funds, achieving an impressive 88% retention rate.

Shadow Health is able to support continuous growth through HBOTT, instead of waiting for the sales cycle to catch up with their hiring needs. HBOTT also empowers Shadow Health to hire more full-time employees compared to part-time.

Technology changes so quickly, and its new applications are hard to implement into a classroom curriculum; therefore HBOTT is leveraged to provide new employees with an additional learning tool or resource. College graduates don’t always have experience using C#, Ruby on Rails and Unity, the technical foundation of Shadow Health’s revolutionary digital education environment.

Because on-the-job training costs are reimbursed, Shadow Health can hire skilled employees with a built-in two to three month training period providing time to learn new resources, be productive and impact the business positively, Oakey said.

“As we continue to grow and scale, programs like HBOTT are so beneficial in the STEM area,” Oakey said. “[HBOTT] is a win/win for training, recruiting and getting [employees] here and still allowing you to strategically scale.”

Scaling is an important piece of Shadow Health’s past growth and future expansion. From its origins at the University of Florida Innovation Hub to its current spacious downtown office, Shadow Health has continued to revolutionize interactive education and shows no sign of slowing down. When asked “where do you see Shadow Health five years from now?” Oakey responded “All around the world.”

The ShadowHealth Team

Hear firsthand how Shadow Health maintained its unique company culture while expanding to more than 400 nursing schools in North America. CEO and cofounder David Massias will be speaking to employers on Tuesday, August 26, at Company Lifestyle, a series of organizational culture workshops presented by CareerSource NCFL and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. [/fusion_builder_column] [/fusion_builder_row] [/fusion_builder_container]