Pathway to the Future: How Workforce Development and Quality Jobs Can Promote Quality Care Conference Package. Grow Our Own

05/01/2004

Grant amount: $4,000,000

Leveraged amount: $1,620,000 cash and $2,837,200 in-kind from participating hospitals.

Grantee: Rio Grande Valley Allied Health Training Alliance -- Weslaco, Texas

Key partners: 10 hospitals, five educational institutions, four counties, two workforce development boards, and one faith-based community organization.

Grant activities will take place in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy Counties, Texas.

Challenge
Multiple barriers contribute to the severe nursing and allied health professionals shortages occurring in rural border communities. If these barriers are not addressed, the skills shortage will worsen, jeopardizing health care services in these communities.

Addressing the Challenge
With its $4,000,000 grant, the Rio Grande Valley Allied Health Training Alliance will assist area businesses and community leaders to develop, attract, and retain homegrown talent. Key objectives include enrolling students in Post-Licensures Specialty Training, creating a Skills Workforce Academy for Nursing and Allied Health candidates, retaining them through tuition assistance, and developing a High School Concurrent Enrollment Program and comprehensive Faculty Sharing Program while drawing from Alliance hospitals' supply of Masters of Science in Nursing.

Projected Outcomes
Grow Our Own will: a) Enroll 135 participants in Post Licensure Specialties with a completion rate of 95 percent; b) Prepare 70 students annually in academies; c) Write curricula and learning objectives so that 90 high school juniors and seniors have the annual opportunity to take college classes d) Expand comprehensive case management services to 360 participants with retention rates for all students reaching 90 percent; e) Utilize online coursework by Fall 2005 as part of the Faculty Sharing Program for one allied health specialty; and f) Develop an online, regional scheduling system in 2004 for coordinating 400 students' clinical rotations in Fall 2005.

Sustainable Impact
The members that comprise the Alliance are well positioned to ensure the sustainability of this project beyond the cessation of federal funds.

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