‘Grow Your Own’ Grant Will Help Heartland Regional Medical Center Enhance Health Care Workforce

‘Grow Your Own’ Grant Will Help Heartland Regional Medical Center Enhance Health Care Workforce

September 4, 2013

St. Joseph, Mo. — Heartland Regional Medical Center has been awarded a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Missouri Hospital Association to help recruit the hospital’s health–care workforce. The grant of $45,662.14 will be used to build a foundation of health–care professionals who have an understanding of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

The aging population, growing number of individuals with chronic conditions and expanded access to health insurance have led to increasing demands on the health–care system. These factors and others have generated an urgent need for additional hospital employees. Additionally, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which includes significant changes to payments and health care delivery systems, coupled with new technology, such as electronic health records, has increased demand for workers with highly specialized skills.

 “The future of health care is uncertain and changing rapidly. In response, we must radically and boldly recreate ourselves. We must also mentor the health–care providers of tomorrow, giving them the tools and knowledge they need to navigate these changes. The Grow Your Own grant will allow us to share our experience with students in health–care related areas, ensuring that the people we serve continue to receive the best and safest care from discerning, compassionate health–care providers,” said Dr. Mark Laney, President and CEO, Heartland Health.

At Heartland, Grow Your Own funds will be used to offer a new, unique, innovative health–care internship program designed to go beyond traditional health care by introducing junior and senior college students to complex issues facing health–care organizations. The program is modeled on a graduate–level class combined with an on–site internship.

 “The workforce challenge for Missouri hospitals is two-fold,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. “First, hospitals must address the shortage of educated health care workers, including primary care physicians, nurses, therapists and imaging technicians, to meet the expanding demand for care. Second, hospital leaders also must recruit and retain talented individuals to manage increasingly complex health care organizations. The Grow Your Own program allows hospitals to address these challenges with plans that are tailored to the needs of their organizations and the communities they serve.”

Applications for the Grow Your Own Hospital Grant Program were submitted in July. The applications were reviewed and selected by an independent committee composed of representatives from health care, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with experience in health care grant development and funding processes.