Adam Parker is a Masters Student of Public Administration and a graduate student assistant working with Lenoir County.
A workshop of ten graduate students from the Department of City and Regional Planning and the Masters in Public Administration programs will work this semester to develop a health care workforce inventory and needs assessment in Lenoir County. The workshop is being directed by faculty member Nichola Lowe and will present its findings later in the spring.
At the behest of RHA Howell, a health care provider who operates multiple facilities throughout North Carolina, this graduate team will conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses of the workforce capabilities in Lenoir County. RHA Howell is interested in this analysis after applying for numerous grants to expand its WIN program. WIN stands for “Workforce Investment Network,” and is a career ladder program for individuals who work at RHA Howell. In short, WIN provides employees of RHA Howell to earn a post-secondary education free of cost while they work at RHA Howell. RHA Howell often struggles to maintain its workforce of direct care providers, who work with special needs individuals throughout the state.
Five members of the workshop and Professor Lowe traveled to LaGrange to visit RHA Howell’s Bear Creek facility on Friday, January 15th. NBC17 of Raleigh covered the visit on their website. Students were given a tour of the Bear Creek facility, met patients at the facility, met staff at the facility, and ate lunch with participants in the WIN program participants and directors. Scope of the project and future collaborations between UNC and RHA Howell were discussed, as well as whether the WIN model can expand to other groups in Lenoir County. Work will continue throughout the semester on this healthcare workforce study, and results will be made publicly available upon completion.