Viterbo University Strides Magazine Online

Group Examines Health Care Worker Shortage

With an aging population, health care has more patients to serve than ever and more of its workforce is headed for retirement. That’s why there’s a current- and a future-projected shortage of health care workers.

The La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium took steps toward addressing this concern at a special health care forum in April focused on the workforce shortage confronting that industry. Diane Peters, vice president of Workforce Development for the Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association, was the keynote speaker.

According to Silvana Richardson, dean of the Viterbo School of Nursing, “We need to make the public aware of the seriousness of this problem which is widespread. We need more trained nurses, nurse’s aids, pharmacists, and other health care professionals.”

The Fine Arts Center Lobby was filled with participants in the event, which included representatives from Viterbo University as well as Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, Gundersen Lutheran, UW-La Crosse, and Western Wisconsin Technical College. “We looked at comprehensive strategies ranging from education to the actual work environment while identifying regional health care issues and needs,” said Richardson.