HomeLatest NewsQuality NewsQuality Corner: SDAHO Begins Work On Rural Network Development Workforce Grant

Quality Corner: SDAHO Begins Work On Rural Network Development Workforce Grant

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) is excited to welcome Lindsay Stroman, Workforce Development Coordinator for the association. Earlier this year SDAHO was awarded the Rural Network Development Grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. 

The mission of the project is to create a network of healthcare organizations and community partners called the South Dakota Rural Workforce Network (SDRWN) focusing on workforce recruitment and retention. The network is developing an all-inclusive pipeline of healthcare essential workers, such as dietary, environmental services, nursing assistants, home health aides and more. 

Stroman began her position this past October and is excited about the program and the opportunities this will create for future workforce needs. “I am excited to be part of the SDAHO team, but even more excited to be part of a solution as we focus on workforce needs across the state. This program will provide real solutions to our rural healthcare facilities and communities.” Lindsay Stroman, Workforce Development Coordinator, SDAHO

SDAHO’s Network Development team is partnering with a consultant to facilitate a strategic planning session with Network members. This will allow all Network members to get together in one space and brainstorm ideas and develop a detailed action plan moving forward. “We have a short-term goal, which includes facilitating strategic planning sessions which will begin in January of 2024 and will include all Network members. At those meetings we will discuss and begin implementing an action plan for our grant work. However, the long-term goal is to develop a system that can be replicated statewide and used by any healthcare facility for years to come.” Lindsay Stroman, Workforce Development Coordinator, SDAHO

The project is targeting rural ethnic and racial minorities, refugees, second career adults and high school students to fill the healthcare essential roles. The impact will include a stable pipeline of essential healthcare workers to serve the rural healthcare facilities throughout rural South Dakota. In addition, it will help improve economic stability in those communities where new essential healthcare workers reside.  

In November of 2023 Stroman was able to visit with several Network members, which included: 

  • Mobridge, SD – Critical Access Hospital
  • Hot Springs, SD- Critical Access Hospital
  • University of South Dakota: Network Partner
  • Lutheran Social Services: Network Partner
  • Mitchell Technical Institute: Network Partner

Meetings so far have included conversations on recruitment and retention strategies, in addition to new ideas such as an after-school program for grades 3-12th. “The idea of an after-school program is so that students can explore healthcare careers with hands-on activities. The goal is to provide opportunities where students are exposed to healthcare careers at a young age, with hopes they will be interested in joining the healthcare workforce starting in their high school years.” Lindsay Stroman, Workforce Development Coordinator, SDAHO Stroman will continue visiting Network facilities into the spring of 2024.

Additional key partners include the University of South Dakota and Mitchell Technical College. Stroman says, both are looking to potentially develop internships, apprenticeships, career exploring classes and student support services for refugee and minority students. Lutheran Social Services (LSS) already has programs in place to assist refugees with learning to read, write and developing their professional skills in English.  “At LSS they even have a class that is dedicated towards healthcare career readiness and begins to prepare students for what they may experience in the healthcare field.  These healthcare classes encourage students to consider careers such as a nursing aid or certified nursing assistant. I am excited to be working with all our partners.” Lindsay Stroman, Workforce Development Coordinator, SDAHO

To learn more about SDAHO’s Workforce Development Program, visit Lindsay Stroman, Workforce Development Coordinator with SDAHO: Lindsay.Stroman@sdaho.org.

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