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Visitor essay: Options for Morgantown’s well being care panorama

by Tadd Haynes

As president of UniCare West Virginia, a number one well being care supplier within the state, I take it as our accountability to assist drive well being care innovation in our state.

Final month, a gaggle of key well being, neighborhood and elected leaders met to collaborate on how we will enhance the well being and high quality of life for the residents in Morgantown and the encompassing areas.

This roundtable aimed to achieve priceless insights and foster an atmosphere for revolutionary concepts and partnerships to flourish, as we heard from representatives with the Monongalia County Well being Division, WVU Medication and the Division of Well being and Human Assets amongst others.

The insights derived from this roundtable dialogue centered on 4 essential themes the place we will enhance our well being care system:

1. Enhanced workforce growth: One vital problem recognized is the necessity to get extra residents working, serving to drive our native financial system. Well being care impacts folks’s capability to get and stay employed. And employment is immediately tied to improved well being outcomes.

 One answer is evident: working with well being care suppliers and different organizations to deal with employment boundaries and open doorways for people in search of employment. Our partnership with Prestera Well being to supply intensive dental care to these in search of employment is one instance of the kinds of artistic partnership we have to discover as a neighborhood.

2. Help for little one and elder care providers: Youngster care and elder care emerged as substantial issues that affect folks’s capability to work. The excessive price of kid care and an absence of grants or monetary assist had been highlighted.

One answer to deal with that is for neighborhood leaders to match employers with packages that present skilled little one care staff for on-site care, develop consciousness of grants to deal with little one and elder care wants or in any other case incentivize extra little one care amenities to supply important assist. Moreover, leveraging the $1.8 billion funding in broadband infrastructure to reinforce on-line workforce participation can alleviate transportation and little one care challenges.

3. Recruitment and retention of well being care staff: Native hospitals and well being care suppliers, such because the Mon County Well being Division and WVU Medication and its subsidiaries, are doing a unbelievable job within the face of a scarcity of well being care professionals, particularly in rural areas. The problem of attracting and retaining well being care staff continues to be vital.

Revolutionary options corresponding to telemedicine, infrastructure growth and neighborhood well being employee packages may help overcome this scarcity. Native leaders also can assist well being care professionals spotlight the uniquely wild and fantastic points of West Virginia as they work together with potential staff in order that we will entice and retain a dedicated well being care workforce.

4. Addressing further boundaries to well being: Entry to care is about greater than having sufficient docs. West Virginians want extra dentists and psychological well being suppliers to fulfill the demand for his or her care. And each supplier — from hospitals to rural docs and nurse practitioners — loses sufferers from lack of housing, transportation, earnings boundaries, broadband limitations and related components. To enhance entry to care, our neighborhood has to deal with these systemic challenges.

UniCare West Virginia is dedicated to addressing these points, however it’s important that we be a part of fingers, hear and work along with our legislators, neighborhood leaders, well being care suppliers and, most significantly, our native residents.

Collectively, we will proceed to work with our legislators to allocate extra assets and assist for insurance policies that improve well being care entry and workforce growth for Morgantown. We are able to foster an atmosphere that draws well being care professionals and offers important providers, corresponding to little one and elder care. Our neighborhood can proceed to empower well being care suppliers to be revolutionary in delivering care.

The findings from these roundtables function a name to motion for not solely Morgantown, however all West Virginians, and the challenges highlighted in these discussions require collective efforts to result in lasting change.

Tadd Haynes is CEO and Plan President of UniCare Well being Plan of West Virginia, Inc., a part of Elevance Well being. He has 20-plus years of well being care expertise and a historical past of progressive management roles in administration and operations.