HomeLatest NewsMember NewsSDAHO Awarded HRSA Rural Workforce Network Grant

SDAHO Awarded HRSA Rural Workforce Network Grant

​The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) was recently awarded the Rural Network Developmental Grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The project will create a network of healthcare organizations and community partners called South Dakota Rural Workforce Network (SDRWN) consisting of critical access hospitals, nursing homes, a technology school, post-secondary university, and a nonprofit social services organization across rural South Dakota.

The purpose of the project is to improve access to healthcare services in rural South Dakota by developing an all-inclusive pipeline of healthcare essential workers. “As a part of our overall strategic plan for SDAHO, we want to address the number one concern for our members, which is workforce recruitment and retention, and this grant helps us get one step closer to achieving that goal.” Tammy Hatting, COO, SDAHO

Healthcare essential workers are the entry level jobs that provide support to healthcare professionals to improve quality and delivery of healthcare services. Examples include dietary, environmental services, nursing assistants, phlebotomists, and home health aides.

Grant funds will be used to hire a dedicated workforce coordinator that will manage the project. Becky Heisinger, SDAHO’s Director of Quality Integration will assist as the project director. “This grant provides the needed resources to support South Dakota as it faces the challenges of the healthcare workforce shortage. We are looking forward to collaborating with key partners from across the state as we address the growing need for essential healthcare workers for now and in the future.” Becky Heisinger, SDAHO Dir. Of Quality Integration

The project will target rural ethnic and racial minorities, refugees, second career adults and high school students.

The expected program outcomes and community impact include a stable pipeline of essential healthcare workers to serve the rural healthcare facilities throughout rural South Dakota. In addition, the project will help improve economic stability in those communities where new essential healthcare workers reside. Other expected program outcomes include a more skilled healthcare workforce resulting in improved patient outcomes and patient safety measures. SDAHO continues to be committed to workforce solutions that impact the healthcare community. Tim Rave, President/ CEO, SDAHO, “Being a recipient of the Rural Network Development Program HRSA grant is great news for our members and the healthcare community. SDAHO is eager to get started on this important project and I believe we can help make a difference addressing the workforce challenges the healthcare industry is facing.”

The project period will run from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2027. Total award amount $1,150,097.00

For questions about the South Dakota Rural Workforce Network (SDRWN) Grant, contact Becky.Heisinger@sdaho.org.

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