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Monday, April 20, 2015


Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) employees working in health care can look forward to improved workplaces, reduced burnout and more professional development opportunities, thanks to a series of new projects funded by retention grants first introduced by the provincial government in January.

Health Minister Len Taylor today announced approximately $1 million in funding for 17 innovative projects - recommended by health professionals - that will benefit a wide range of workers throughout the province. This funding is part of the $6 million Health Workforce Employee Retention Program, which supports creative, grassroots initiatives designed to help keep health employees working in Saskatchewan's health care system.

"Keeping and attracting key health providers continues to be a top priority of this government," Taylor said. "I am gratified by the enthusiastic response to this second round of our retention grants. The best retention innovations often come from health providers themselves - they know what will work best in their workplaces - and this program capitalizes on that valuable knowledge."

SIAST's project involves implementing an 80/20 model (80 per cent work balanced with 20 per cent professional development) for new and existing staff at the Wascana Campus. This allows for the development and support of new staff and the retention of existing staff wishing to have enhanced professional development and mentorship opportunities. Project funding is $75,000.

"Providing dedicated time for mentoring contributes to greater job satisfaction and retention of novice and experienced faculty," SIAST Dean of Nursing Netha Dyck said. "The 80/20 initiative provides an excellent opportunity for experienced faculty to mentor novice faculty and facilitate the transition to their new role."

Projects can be initiated by health employees and other providers, employers, and provincial health sector organizations. Details on the program are posted on the Saskatchewan Health website at

Funding for the retention program flows from the $25 million retention and recruitment plan announced in September 2006. The program has been designed and recommended by committees that were established to provide advice on how the retention and recruitment plan money should be directed, working within the framework of the nationally recognized strategy, the Health Workforce Action Plan.

They build on other new programs aimed at recruiting valuable health providers, including the creation of a provincial recruitment agency - - the Saskatchewan Relocation Program and the Saskatchewan Rural, Northern and Hard-to-Recruit Program. Since these grant programs were introduced in October 2006, 377 health care workers (244 nurses and 133 other health workers) have received recruitment grants and will be providing care to Saskatchewan residents.


For more information, contact:

Andrew Dinsmore
Phone: 306-787-4083

Jen Pilsner
Phone: 306-798-6609

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