Rural Health Workforce Ready

Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHA) released a Rural Health Workforce Ready report featuring successes  from their pilot workforce development program aimed at addressing the state’s workforce shortages.

The program launched in West Tennessee with funding from Delta Regional Authority and Amerigroup before expanding to other parts of the state. Over the past two years, RHA has assisted more than 300 aspiring healthcare professionals seeking certification and employment. To support career pathway development, RHA partnered with K-12 schools and community colleges to train more than 700 students in goal setting, healthcare careers, and communication skills.

“Workforce shortages in healthcare is a problem that is not going away anytime soon” explains Jacy Warrell, RHA’s CEO. “We need new and innovative ways to recruit and train healthcare workers in a way that supports retention and growth.”

Areas with higher proportions of low-income and minority residents, like rural communities, are more likely to have a lower supply of physicians and other healthcare professionals. Frontline healthcare workers such as medical and nursing assistants are also in high demand. As the rural population continues to age, residential and assisted living facilities have become one of the most rapidly growing industries with a high demand for nurses.

Rural Health Association and their employer partners believe innovative ways to recruit, train, and retain healthcare workers are needed. “We know there is plenty of talent in rural communities, we just need to keep helping people with the skills and interest in healthcare to overcome barriers to certification,” adds Warrell.

Click to view the report online or download the PDF version.

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