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Tomah Health Reports Positive Workforce Environment

Despite a Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) report that describes health care workforce challenges, the head of hiring at Tomah Health says the local hospital is in good shape when it comes to employment. Tomah Health Human Resources Director Brenda Reinert says the local hospital is in a unique position compared to other hospitals that are struggling with workforce issues. “We’re sitting in a really good or unique situation,” Reinert said of workforce and hiring practices.

Reinert made the comments following the release of the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s 2024 Wisconsin Health Care Workforce Report on Monday. As outlined in WHA’s report, workforce vacancy rates that skyrocketed during the pandemic have started to stabilize but remain challenging. The report also underlined the need for a growing number of health professionals in the state to build and sustain a thriving health care workforce for future generations. “While I know there’s a challenge that is facing health care with retiring workers and aging workers and those types of issues, that’s really not something that we’ve been faced with,” added Reinert.

She said Tomah Health’s average employee age of 40 years, coupled with unique retention opportunities, have placed the hospital in a unique situation. “Our vacancy rate has also remained very low throughout COVID, and I know that vacancy rate was a concern with WHA and it’s also a concern in a lot of other health care institutions.” Reinert said Tomah Health does experience some challenges in non-patient areas, like Nutrition and Facility positions. “We don’t really have a grow your own program for those non patient care areas.”

She credited hospital leaders for investing in staff that has made a difference in the workforce climate. “I think that our low vacancy rate can be tied to some of the unique things that we do here at the hospital by growing our own and supporting educational assistance, tuition reimbursement and education. We have managers who are wizards with scheduling their staff, working around multiple student schedules just so that we can continue to support those employees.”

WHA officials said their report also underlined the need for a growing number of health professionals in the state to build and sustain a thriving health care workforce for future generations. To accomplish this, WHA has recommended a multi-faceted approach including the creation of additional career pathways that will allow young, future professionals to grow into health care professions and remain in Wisconsin. “Addressing health care workforce shortages will require a concerted effort and sustainable immediate, midrange and long-term solutions,” said WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Health care organizations, educators, state regulators and elected officials must continue partnering to minimize outdated barriers and implement innovations to encourage, support and advance health care workers in their pursuit of fulfilling attainable and meaningful careers.”

Reinert agreed with WHA’s plan saying everyone needs to be creative to attract and retain staff. “We have a great culture here and we have a positive work environment at Tomah Health. We offer competitive wages and benefits and we foster an environment where employees are supported and have a voice,” said Reinert. “I’m confident that we are going to remain strong even when faced with these issues, just because of the things that we’ve put in place, the support we provide to the employees and the buy in that the managers have to what we’re doing here.”

For Tomah Health job opportunities and to apply on-line, CLICK HERE

To view the 2024 WHA Workforce report, CLICK HERE 

Tomah Health