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Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Five Hills 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.

"Keeping and attracting key health providers remains our top priority," Taylor said. "I am pleased with the enthusiastic response we've received to 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."

The Five Hills project involves developing and implementing a dementia care training program in the Ross Payant Nursing Home in Assiniboia. Project funding is $46,000.

"This project offers opportunities to create a safer, productive and constructive workplace to benefit employees and residents," Ross Payant Nursing Home Director of Care Cynthia Shelstad said. "In addition, we will promote and create skilled leaders to provide care in rural areas."

"A high priority is placed on ensuring that we have highly skilled staff working in safe environments," Five Hills Health Region executive director of Continuing Care Bert Linklater said. "This grant will provide a direct benefit to our residents by providing our staff with leading edge, best practice training in dementia care."

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

Craig Beesley
Five Hills Health Region
Phone: 306-694-0300

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