CVTC receives grant for rural health care

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 6:49 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Chippewa Valley Technical College is getting funds to target rural health care. It’s through the Strengthening Community College Training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The grant intends to help support individuals in rural communities as they enter the health care system.

“We’re really looking at innovative and new ways to use the technology that we have to reach those populations in areas that may be a little bit further from our main campuses and also utilizing online educations resources for textbooks that are free or low cost,” Myra Reuter, CVTC Executive Dean of Allied Health and Emergency Services said. “So, it can enable more students to have access to our course offerings and credentialing.”

The funding is meant to target high school students to help them enter the health care field earlier than they may have been able to do otherwise.

“So, reaching our high schools, but as well as training people that are in those rural or smaller areas,” Reuter said. “Hoping to get some of the entry-level positions, so things like medical assistance, certified nursing assistants, and then hoping that those students will get some health care experience.”

Gina Petrie, CVTC Dean of Nursing, said this is important because when more individuals get proper training, more people can help fill staffing in hospitals.

“We’ve heard from our health care partners and employers that they have a need, of course, for workers in health care and across all areas, so in acute and long-term care,” Petrie said.

As Travis Christman, HSHS St. Joseph’s and Sacred Heart Hospitals’ Chief Nursing Officer, explained higher staffing levels help hospitals treat patients faster.

“In rural health care, it’s important that if someone has an accident, if someone has a heart attack, anything like that, they can get that timely response by going to the closest hospital that has the services that they need and then, getting efficient transport as well to another area that has maybe more services or more specifics,” Christman said.

With this grant, CVTC plans to hire a rural outreach coordinator that will work with employers and high schools. Reuter said it will take around a year to get everything in place.

CVTC staff will begin planning how they will use and allocate the funds on March 1.