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2022 Healthcare Hero: Turkessa E. Antrum

Winner Category: Healthcare Staff Employer: Community Health Resources Title: Chief Human Resources Officer Return to honoree page
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Turkessa Antrum is chief human resources officer/chief DE&I officer at CHR. She serves as the strategic HR executive and leads HR, employee and labor relations, benefits, talent acquisition, HRIS, training, payroll and DE&I. With 26 years of HR experience, Antrum is currently president of the HR Association of Central Connecticut and an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford.

What have been your significant contributions to your organization in the past year?

As CHR’s first chief DE&I officer, a significant amount of time was spent over the last year to launch our DE&I efforts and ensure that employees understand and believe in our organization’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment.

This effort included surveying our workforce, holding focus groups and conducting interviews. In addition, we held 21 interactive sessions that I helped to coordinate, including four leadership trainings with managers and 17 community conversations with all staff on a variety of DE&I topics to help foster understanding and practice strategies for creating more inclusive spaces.

Tell us about a challenge in your job that you were able to overcome.

As turnover trends for industries like CHR remain well over 50%, under my leadership, we were successful at ending the year with a 22% voluntary turnover rate. Although CHR felt the impact of the Great Resignation, we improved retention through a thoughtful plan to connect more regularly with new hires.

Fun Fact: I spent eight years serving in the Army Reserves.

When the pandemic hit, I created a work-from-home policy so staff had guidance regarding this new way of working. The big changes following the pandemic include increased use of Zoom for trainings and meetings. Also, my team and I now think differently about recruitment, retention and flexibility in the workplace.

Personal side:

City of residence: Meriden

Favorite way to relax: Anywhere where there is a beach

Hobbies: Shopping, reading and working out on my Peloton!

Favorite movie: “Love Actually”

Currently reading: “Summers on the Bluff,” by Sunny Hostin

Favorite cause: Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance

Fun Fact: I spent eight years serving in the Army Reserves.

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