Cultivating Rural The School’s programs nurture rural health care professionals.
1482:1 In urban areas it is 308:1
In isolated rural North Dakota, the patient to physician ratio is
Source: Center for Rural Health
Take a moment to consider what a health workforce pipeline means to you. It may hold any number of meanings. There are three entities in North Dakota hard at work to create a new meaning for workforce pipeline, one that offers encouragement and sustenance for current and potential rural health care employees. The Center for Rural Health (CRH), North Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC), and the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) believe students at young ages need to be introduced and encouraged to pursue careers in health care. During elementary, middle school, secondary, and postsecondary education, budding professionals need insight into rural experiences. Rural health care professionals require environments that foster their work, continued professional 18
NORTH DAKOTA MEDICINE Holiday 2012
growth, and appreciation of the communities they serve through the meaningful work they do. Collaborative efforts between the AHEC, CRH, and SMHS feed the needs of North Dakota’s future and current health workforce. Workforce development efforts are divided this way: K–16 students are introduced to health care careers, professionals are introduced to rural settings, and rural providers are supported in their efforts of providing care. K–12 There are over 100,000 students in North Dakota’s elementary, middle, and secondary schools; there are nearly 50,000 students at North Dakota’s colleges and universities. This makes for a very large pool of potential rural health care providers, and the net has been cast. Every year, many
North Dakota Medicine Holiday 2012