Michigan’s Rural Health Center recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for workforce education and training for healthcare workers in the Upper Peninsula. NMU’s Elise Bur, will lead the project for the Rural Health Center to support their project dubbed UP WIN, short for Upper Peninsula workforce innovation network. Project Director Elise Bur says that shortages in health care workers in the region were a challenge prior to the pandemic, and were only made worse during the period. Economic and health disparities, in addition to inadequate availability of rural health professional training sites, make it challenging to maintain a strong health care workforce in rural and tribal communities.
The network’s goals are to leverage EMS professionals to address at-risk populations, manage patients with chronic diseases in-home, and decrease hospital re-admissions, while avoiding unnecessary emergency department visits. The project will also Identify, educate and provide cross-training opportunities for community health workers through the Michigan Center for Rural Health; and develop approaches in training existing staff to maximize their clinical and operational capacity. The Center for Rural Health is working with Upper Peninsula Michigan Works, the U.P. Area Health Education Center, U.P. Health Care Solutions, Everyday Life Consulting, UP Health System Marquette School of EMT, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services—Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness on their UP WIN project. The 1.4 million dollar grant will be dispersed to the university over three years.