Building a healthy economy and a healthy workforce in Illinois
The continued results of investments in medical facilities, improved health care access and training for medical professionals are creating a bright future for a healthy workforce in southern Illinois.
In 2013, Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg was able to use Delta Regional Authority (DRA) funding to purchase state-of-the-art obstetric simulators to provide training for nursing students and area health care providers. In Rosiclare, Hardin County General Hospital also used a DRA investment to upgrade to a digitally-interfaced phone system and to improve the nurse call system to allow remote monitoring of patient devices, including IV pumps and fall-prevention "bed check" beds.
Also this year, Southern Illinois University was one of only five recipients across the Delta region of the Healthy Workforce Challenge award, which will be combined with funding from HRSA for programming that incentivizes behavioral change in the workplace.
This summer, three cities in Illinois will house Innovative Readiness Training medical missions -- a partnership between the DRA and the U.S. Department of Defense that provides residents of medically-underserved communities with free medical, dental and optical services from medical professionals enlisted in the U.S. military reserve forces. Through these medical missions, members of the military are able to serve the needs of thousands in Illinois communities while gaining crucial pre-deployment field training.
These projects build upon the foundation of many other health initiatives within the region, many of which have also received DRA funding. A regional simulation and learning lab project based at John A. Logan College in Carterville can, through distance learning technology, stream training classes to up to 17 locations throughout the region.
DRA funding is also being used by the city of Carterville to construct public water and sewer infrastructure to support the future construction of the 46,000 square-foot Southern Illinois Healthcare Cancer Center. The center will create 13 jobs as well as provide oncological care for southern Illinois residents.
By improving the health care industry, these investments are not only creating new jobs for the people of Illinois, but are also building a healthy workforce that will be able to sustain the economy of southern Illinois and continue to build its future.