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ScionHealth partners with tech startup Gratia Health on incentive application for frontline caregivers

Now live at 70-plus hospitals nationwide, platform has supported employees while helping health system reduce contract nursing labor costs

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Nov. 15, 2023) – To combat the challenge of costly contract labor for frontline caregivers and to retain and reward outstanding full-time employees, ScionHealth, a national health system with approximately 25,000 team members, announced a strategic partnership with health technology startup Gratia Health to implement a tech-enabled employee incentive platform for caregivers.

After a successful pilot program in which ScionHealth saw a notable reduction in contract labor utilization, Louisville-based ScionHealth has extended the partnership with Gratia to its 70-plus specialty hospitals in 21 states.

Gratia’s technology enables caregivers to participate in a uniquely designed shift pickup incentive program. Eligible staff can easily find and secure extra shifts while tracking their progress toward pay incentives and status rewards that help caregivers reach personal earnings goals.

“ScionHealth’s purpose is to empower the hands that heal to do what they do best,” said Daniel Brywczynski, President of Specialty Hospitals for ScionHealth. “An essential part of that is providing caregivers with opportunities to help them reach their personal, professional, and financial goals – ultimately, creating careers that are satisfying and sustainable. ScionHealth prides itself on leaning into new ideas and seeking out partnerships that can move our team forward, and we’ve done that with Gratia Health.”     

Employees can utilize Gratia’s two-way texting application to check their status in the incentive program and easily engage and ask questions. Gratia delivers automated updates and progress notifications to caregivers that optimize the program for engagement and reward attainment. In addition, Gratia provides administrators with tools to gauge program performance and streamline back-office support functions.

Kelcie McCloskey, who serves as Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Operating Officer at ScionHealth’s Kindred Hospital Albuquerque (New Mexico), said the Gratia-powered incentive program enables caregivers to earn meaningfully variable pay for their efforts while monitoring their progress toward their financial goals in real time. They can also plan their work schedules around those goals.

“Being recognized and incentivized for one’s hard work and having the ability to gauge pay increase on-demand is huge for our employees,” McCloskey said.

ScionHealth’s partnership with Gratia traces to early 2022, when ScionHealth formed a clinical labor taskforce to explore various ways the organization could tackle workforce challenges facing the healthcare industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the rising cost of contract labor. ScionHealth sought ways to make the employee experience for frontline healthcare workers more compelling and sustainable, with a focus on incentivizing and rewarding team members, especially those who go above and beyond.

Newly formed Gratia, which was incubated by 25m Health, met ScionHealth’s needs by offering a comprehensive incentive compensation platform specifically designed for the healthcare industry. So far, given the reduction in contract labor costs, ScionHealth has seen a significant return on its investment with Gratia, allowing the company to continue reinvesting in its workforce.

“Our partnership with Gratia has propelled innovation and technology to the forefront and has assisted with contract-labor reduction by promoting a shared responsibility model to care for our patient population,” said Michelle Dennis, Senior Director of Workforce Development at ScionHealth. “Rewarding employees versus paying contract labor is not only fiscally responsible, but it also helps maintain clinical quality and continuity of care – which is every healthcare organization’s goal.”

ScionHealth and Gratia are looking to build upon their initial success by piloting and rolling out additional incentive programs to further address workforce health in 2024. Together the companies are looking at programs to address attendance, preceptorship, and clinical ladder advancement.

“The staffing shortage and general wellness of our frontline healthcare workers is perhaps the biggest challenge our industry faces today,” said Harrison Tyner, Co-Founder and President of Gratia Health. “Our approach from the beginning was to focus on long-term, sustainable solutions that create healthier work environments for staffed healthcare workers. In creating a truly innovative approach to how clinical staff are recognized and incentivized, we’ve tapped into a deep well of value that is creating a win-win environment for everyone.

“None of this would have been possible without ScionHealth’s steadfast commitment to innovation and focus on empowering their clinical staff to do their best work. We are excited to continue expanding our offering and empower other healthcare employers that face similar workforce challenges.”

About ScionHealth

ScionHealth strives to deliver on its promise of high-quality, patient-centered hospital care by empowering the hands that heal to do what they do best. The health system is focused on driving innovation, serving its communities, and investing in people and technology to deliver compassionate patient care and excellent health outcomes. Based in Louisville, ScionHealth operates 94 hospital campuses (76 specialty hospitals and 18 community hospital campuses and associated health systems) and eight senior living locations in 28 states. For more information, please visit

About Gratia Health

Gratia is a venture-backed health technology startup that specializes in helping healthcare employers create healthy, sustainable workforces through its incentive compensation platform. Our goal is to develop and deploy a portfolio of data informed incentive programs that help create more sustainable work environments for shift-based healthcare providers, like nurses. Our programs are designed using proven behavioral science concepts to address chronic workforce challenges within systems and are deployed using our proprietary software platform that gamifies the experience for participating providers. The end result is increased compensation and satisfaction for providers and a definitive, significant near-term ROI for employers.

Scott Shepherd
VP, Communications and Marketing, ScionHealth