Donation from Wisconsin-based Epic helping address healthcare workforce shortage

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Barriers to joining and staying in healthcare professions are leading to Wisconsin facing a deficit of over 8,000 healthcare positions across the state, and one area company involved in healthcare systems is aiming to help solve the problem.

UW Health announced in a Tuesday, Oct. 4 press release that Verona-based Epic Systems is helping to kickstart the effort to improve the healthcare workforce by offering a "significant donation."

The donation is reportedly aimed at creating and expanding programs to " ... inspire, train and support the next generation of healthcare workers ... " while keeping an eye on marginalzied areas.

According to the press release, among the programs to receive financial support from Epic include efforts to bolster nursing recruitment as well as the expansion of a community-based healthcare apprenticeship program. Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO of UW Health noted that both programs are " ... designed to help address barriers to joining and staying in healthcare professions."

Karina Rohrer-Meck, a nurse and clinical information leader at Epic lauded the creation of a new three-part learning path at UW Health, saying, "This program takes an innovative approach to solving the important challenge of healthcare capacity." She added, "Improving access to nursing careers not only bolsters our healthcare workforce but also extends career opportunities to people who might not consider the profession an option today."

Dr. Kaplan credits philanthropic support, like that of Epic's donation, as part of the way the state " ... can rise to this challenge that may define the next decade of healthcare."

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