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Release Date: 9/4/2013

'Grow your own' grant will help enhance healthcare workforce

St. Anthony’s Medical Center has been awarded a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Missouri Hospital Association to help recruit and retain highly skilled nurses and other healthcare professionals. The $50,000 grant will be used to build a new simulation lab.

Patient simulation is an advanced tool for enhancing the dynamics of a healthcare team by providing medical scenarios and using realistic mannequins and medical equipment, which allow for learning in a safe, supportive environment without affecting patients. The realistic environment allows healthcare professionals to acquire hands-on skills that may otherwise take years to acquire, and helps develop clinical skills that result in a highly trained nurse who is equipped to respond efficiently.

“With healthcare and technology changing so quickly, nurses are asking us about the latest development opportunity,” said Carol Ellis, R.N., Director of Nursing Resources and Professional Practice. “The simulation lab will help us attract, keep and develop skilled nurses while increasing the quality of our patient care.”

The aging population, growing number of individuals with chronic conditions and expanded access to health insurance have led to increasing demands on the healthcare system. These factors and others have generated an urgent need for additional hospital caregivers. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which includes significant changes to payments and healthcare delivery systems, coupled with new technology such as electronic health records, also has increased demand for workers with highly specialized skills.

 “The workforce challenge for Missouri hospitals is twofold,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. “First, hospitals must address the shortage of educated healthcare workers, including primary care physicians, nurses, therapists and imaging technicians, to meet the expanding demand for care. Second, hospital leaders also must recruit and retain talented individuals to manage increasingly complex healthcare organizations. The ‘Grow Your Own’ program allows hospitals to address these challenges with plans that are tailored to the needs of their organizations and the communities they serve.”

Applications for the “Grow Your Own” hospital grant program were submitted in July. The applications were reviewed and selected by an independent committee composed of representatives from healthcare and educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with experience in healthcare grant development and funding processes.

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