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Thursday, September 18, 2014
Saskatchewan

SASKATOON HEALTH REGION AWARDED EMPLOYEE RETENTION GRANTS

Saskatoon Health Region's health employees 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.

"Our government remains committed to keeping and attracting key health providers," Taylor said. "I am pleased with 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."

Some of Saskatoon's projects include funding for professional development of the region's acquired brain injury outreach team and developing a learning centre for patients undergoing urological surgery at St. Paul's Hospital.

"We appreciate that there are funds being made available to support and retain employees in our region," Saskatoon Health Region vice-president of Human Resources Bonnie Blakley said. "This funding initiative is particularly useful as it allows frontline employees to identify and define their own retention strategies."

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 www.health.gov.sk.ca.

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 - HealthCareersinSask.ca - 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.

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For more information, contact:

Andrew Dinsmore
Health
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4083
Email: adinsmore@health.gov.sk.ca

Daryl Oshanek
Saskatoon Health Region
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-655-3316

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