Workforce in Action: Engaging with Local Stakeholders
Last week, IMS and partners kicked off the first of the
regional stakeholder meetings as part of the healthcare workforce initiative
with the Iowa Department of Public Health. On Tuesday, February 4th,
the IMS team was in Mason City hosting two hour-long open house-style
opportunities to engage with local healthcare workers, employers, partners, and
champions. The mirrored events were offered
at two times throughout the days, at 8 in the morning and again at 2 in the
afternoon, to provide those interested in participating two options for
IMS welcomed a diverse group of stakeholders, all eager to
engage in discussion around what the issues and opportunities for healthcare
workforce look like from their experiences.
Perspectives ranged from those of healthcare administrators, direct care
providers, human resources, advocates for persons with disabilities, public
health leaders, small business owners, spouses of physicians, and even chamber
of commerce representatives. Attendees
shared their thoughts on the issues most impacting healthcare workforce in
Mason City – spanning the impacts of an aging and retiring workforce on
recruitment gains, unique issues around workforce competition with border
states, changing cultural dynamics among healthcare teams and more traditional
communities, capacity challenges for training programs to take advantage of new
interest in healthcare fields, and inclusive workforce opportunities to match local
community members with the entry-level positions that are hardest to
recruit/retain while forming a foundational component of care.
Conversations were dynamic, expanding beyond the current
woes but also looking towards the future, calling out what has been working
well, successes achieved, and brainstorming potential solutions yet to be
realized. Two attendees outlined a plan
to work together to take advantage of their own facility-based training
programs to recruit and prepare local community members who are ready to enter
the entry-level workforce in their hometowns.
Participants demonstrated the commitment to solutions starting at home
while acknowledging and championing for system-based and policy-level
The Mason City meetings were just the start of what will be
at least eight public stakeholder meetings to take place throughout the
state. The Iowa Hospital Association
hosted a stakeholder meeting on Friday, February 7th in
Fairfield. The Iowa Primary Care
Association will be hosting events in Dubuque on March 11th and Leon
on March 24th. Below is the
full list of cities where regional stakeholder meetings will be held. IMS and partners are working with local
community partners to schedule dates.
All meetings are open to the public and free to attend.
Webster City/Fort Dodge
If you’d like to receive the latest details for any of the
regional meetings or more information on the healthcare workforce project,
please contact Kady Reese.