Great Mines offers health grants

It’s a match made in heaven for people who want a healthcare job — or who have a healthcare job but want a better job for more pay or more hours.

The Great Mines Health Center awards Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) scholarships that pay qualified applicants who submit their applications before November 30 and are selected by a review board to become an emergency medical technician (EMT) or a community health worker (CHW). There are also continuing education support grants available for an LPN/RN/Paramedic interested in pursuing further education.

The grants are administered in conjunction with the Washington County Mobile Integrated Healthcare Network (WCMIHN) to benefit residents of Iron, Madison, Perry, Reynolds, St. Francois and Washington counties.

To qualify, applicants may be:

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  • New to the workforce, e.g. B. High school seniors, those recently released from prison, or those who meet HiSET requirements (GED).
  • Displaced workers who have been laid off, been made redundant or received notice of redundancy, or those who were self-employed but are now unemployed.
  • Employees who need training to find full-time employment, advance in their career, or keep their current job.

The scholarships cover tuition, books, course materials and supplies, any required uniforms, and exam and certification costs. Scholars are also eligible for support from WORC partners to help with transportation, immunizations, groceries, utilities, and help with insurance applications. The application for the WORC scholarship can be found at www.mihnetwork.org, under the WORC tab. Winners will be announced on or before December 20th.

Entry-level coursework supported by the WORC scholarship program includes:

  • EMT: a one-semester degree that serves as an entry point for careers in nursing, business, and/or paramedics.
  • CHW: a one-semester course that serves as an entry point into nursing, commercial and/or paramedical professions. Where applicable, students may be dual certified as EMT/CHW.
  • LPN/RN/Paramedic: A $10,000 continuing education grant for LPN, RN and paramedic staff. Four individuals are awarded in the first year of this scholarship, while eight individuals are awarded in the second and third years of the scholarship.

Shelby Cox is the WORC grant manager working with WCMIHN and she is also the paramedic for the Washington County Ambulance District. She said the key to getting this grant for the six counties is to replenish the workforce in the local healthcare industry.

“I’m a paramedic by trade, one of the longtime ones here,” she said. “And we need young blood in our fields. There is a shortage. And word is getting around, things are going quite well, we already have a few applicants. If necessary, we can extend the deadline because we absolutely want to fill these slots and do not want to forego the use of all available funding.”

Once grantees complete their training, which includes clinical rotations and on-the-job training, those who receive their certificates and licenses will be assisted with healthcare placements in the six counties of Iron, Madison, Perry, Reynolds. St Francois and Washington.

The Mobile Integrated Healthcare Network is a 501.c.3 not-for-profit organization working to advance mobile integrated healthcare through education, technical assistance and policy changes. MIHN initiates primary home care with community paramedics who act as intermediaries between the patient and the care provider to prevent inappropriate or excessive use of expensive emergency medical services or emergency rooms. When visiting a home, the paramedic can assess the patient for health, fall risk, COVID risk, social determinants of health, and with the help of CHWs, help find appropriate resources to meet the patient’s needs.

Sarah Haas is Associate Editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or shaas@dailyjournalonline.com.

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