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For Immediate Release: Aug. 2, 2006
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Summit to address health care workforce opportunities

Did you know that health care is South Dakota’s number one high-growth industry? Did you know that from 2002 to 2012, nearly 11,000 additional health care workers will be needed in the state?

South Dakota’s first-ever Health Care Workforce Summit will be held Aug. 7, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Ramkota in Pierre. This event will bring together key stakeholders to address the state’s health care workforce needs.

“This conference is about planning strategically for the future of health care in South Dakota,” said Sandra Durick of the South Dakota Department of Health. “It’s about assessing our needs – both in terms of educational programs available and professional opportunities – and finding proactive solutions to expected challenges.”

Approximately 170 representatives are expected to attend the event. Participants, who represent the health care industry, education and government, will work to develop recommendations and strategies related to: student awareness of health care careers; the pipeline from education to the medical field; recruitment and retention of health care professionals; and the availability of health-related education programs, including clinicals and internships.

These recommendations will serve as a guide as the state moves forward with its efforts to meet South Dakota’s future workforce needs.

The event is hosted by the South Dakota Departments of Education, Health and Labor. For more information about the summit, contact Sandra Durick, Department of Health, at (605) 773-4412.