UP WIN to increase health workforce | News, Sports, Jobs

By Northern Michigan University

MARQUETTE – A collaborative effort to increase Upper Peninsula residents’ access to health care by expanding the training, education and employment of the relevant workforce in the region has received a grant from $1.4 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The project is called UP WIN, short for Upper Peninsula Workforce Innovation Network.

The Michigan Center for Rural Health was the lead applicant for the grant, and Elise Bur of the Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health will serve as project director. Bur said the shortage of community health workers and paramedics in the Upper Peninsula continues to be an ongoing challenge that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our communities need and deserve access to affordable, quality health services,” she says. “By understanding and addressing the social determinants of health that contribute to health inequities and disparities, we can prevent chronic diseases that are leading causes of death in UP, as well as the state and community. nation. A sincere thank you to the Michigan Center for Rural Health for supporting UP initiatives that will improve the health and well-being of residents.

Economic and health disparities, in addition to the insufficient availability of training sites for rural health professionals, make it difficult to maintain a strong health workforce in rural and tribal communities.

“This grant funding is a big win for the region, and we will use our expertise and resources to provide creative approaches to expanding education and workforce training in this underserved area of ​​rural Michigan.” , said Michigan Center for Rural Health executive director John Barnas. “The grant partners are able to meet the needs facing healthcare facilities and we want to help build and sustain a workforce network in UP.”

One of the central elements of UP WIN is to create stronger links between training programs and the health care entities that will ultimately employ or depend on these public health professionals. The objectives of the network are to:

≤ develop and expand sustainable community paramedicine and community health worker models in UP;

≤ leverage EMS professionals to reach at-risk populations, manage patients with chronic conditions at home, and reduce hospital readmissions, while avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits;

≤ identify, educate and provide cross-training opportunities for community health workers through the NMU Rural Health Center; and

≤ develop training approaches for existing staff to maximize their clinical and operational capacity.

“Through this award, we will have the opportunity to work closely with our grant partners to provide community-integrated paramedic and paramedic training for UP residents,” said Andrea Abbas, manager of EMS programs at the Michigan Center of Rural Health. “We are also thrilled to help UP Health System-Marquette Emergency Medical Services launch the first mobile integrated health program serving the Upper Peninsula.”

In addition to Michigan and NMU Rural Health Centers, other network partners include: Upper Peninsula Michigan Works; UP Region Health Education Center; UP Healthcare Solutions; Daily advice; UP Health System-Marquette School of EMT; and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services-Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness.

The $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took effect August 1 and will be distributed over a three-year period.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox

Michael A. Bynum