Friday, December 9, 2022

UP organizations collaborate to address health care worker demand

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – An expanded effort to train UP health care workers is thanks to $1.4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Health care workers are in high demand in the Upper Peninsula, and now several organizations like Michigan Works and the Center for Rural Health are collaborating to address that demand. Director of the NMU Center for Rural Health, Elise Bur said that the “UP WIN” project will help fill the gaps in health care in UP.

“This project is really about expanding access to care and providing some different models of care throughout the Upper Peninsula, which will really allow more people to have access to care,” Bur said. .

The Michigan Center for Rural Health was the lead applicant for the grant, and Elise Bur will serve as the project director.

One aspect the project covers is the training of existing community health workers and paramedics. Also providing additional training to cover more health care. Bur says the project won’t just stay in Marquette.

“We will travel. We will try to take the programs to the people. For example, community health worker training will take place in Sault Ste. Marie and Houghton, we’re going to get to Iron Mountain,” Burr said. “We’re not going to expect everyone to necessarily travel to Marquette for this type of training.”

After training, the project will focus on workforce retention and expanding care. One avenue of expansion is called “integrated mobile health software.”

EMS Project Manager for the Center for Rural Health, Andrea Abbas said they will work closely with UP Health System Marquette EMS.

“Integrated mobile health means you’re deploying EMTs and paramedics into the community to fill the healthcare gaps that may be between different sectors. We’re basically providing home care, care for people with chronic health care conditions,” Abbas said.

Bur said he hopes the NMU Center for Rural Health will become the go-to place for health care training for future health care workers.

Copyright 2022 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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