Five Community Organizations Will Share $4.9 Million Grant to Enhance Arizona's Health Care Workforce

Jun 14, 2012, 08:05 ET from Banner Health

PHOENIX, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Five diverse community organizations – Banner Health, Chicanos Por La Causa, Maricopa Workforce Connections, the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovations, and the Arizona Diversity Business Development Center – will collaborate as partners on a $4.96 million, four-year grant to enhance Arizona's health care workforce and provide career trajectory for nurses and nurse assistants in the state. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Education and Training Agency awarded the grant to the Arizona Diversity Business Development Center to launch a program called Project MADE to address Arizona's shortage of acute care employees. Specifically, the grant will be used to further the educational opportunities and training of nurses and nurse assistants by recruiting and supporting nearly 700 workers who can earn advanced degrees to serve their profession – and provide better patient care.

"This partnership will help us continue to provide quality care to our patients," said Peter S. Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health. "Arizona continues to face a shortage among pockets of acute care professionals and this grant will help to alleviate this serious problem."

The grant will aim to accomplish five goals: 1. Prepare Banner registered nurses for career advancement through Bachelor's degree education; 2. Implement orientation and retention methodologies for new graduates of nursing programs; 3. Provide leadership seminars to develop nursing leaders throughout Arizona; 4. Assist Nursing Assistants with career enhancement through professional certification; 5. Provide outreach to and prepare under-served populations for healthcare career opportunities.

Project MADE will place an emphasis on serving minorities, veterans and the short- and long-term unemployed population and will reduce the reliance on H-1B visa employees in Arizona.

According to the American Association of Colleges and Nursing, nurses with advanced education equate to better patient outcomes. The organization says studies have proven that there are 4.9 fewer deaths per 1,000 patients in intensive care units staffed with a higher percentage of nurses with bachelor's degrees.

The Arizona Business Diversity Center will work with Chicanos Por La Causa, Banner Health, Maricopa Workforce Connections and the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovations to provide Bachelor's of Science and advanced degrees with Project MADE.

CONTACTS:   Bill Byron, Banner Health

SOURCE Banner Health