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 participation. 

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 improvements.

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.


Atlantic

Des Moines

Dubuque

Leon

Waterloo

Webster City/Fort Dodge

Storm Lake

 

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.

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