|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
|Wednesday, May 10, 2006
|News Media Contact
Madison - Governor Jim Doyle today announced the availability of $325,000 in competitive grants to alleviate injuries of health care workers as part of his Grow Wisconsin agenda. The Safe-Lifting Initiative grants will fund demonstration projects and instruction, so healthcare workers receive training on proper techniques and use of new equipment to move patients without injury to themselves or patients. A safe-lift environment means that health care workers do not lift, shift, or transfer patients manually without proper equipment.
According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, six of the top ten occupations at highest risk for back injuries are in health care. Back injuries can result in loss of time at work, limitations and restrictions on work, increased workers’ compensation cost and are often the reason workers leave the health care industry. Concerns about the potential of back injuries may also dissuade others from entering a health care profession. All of these issues can ultimately lead to higher health care costs.
To help alleviate health care worker shortages and escalating health care costs, Governor Doyle announced in “Grow Wisconsin” that DWD would provide funds for training and demonstration projects for worker safety initiatives in the health care field. “Wisconsin is known for providing quality health care. Our hospitals and care facilities are top notch, and we are nationally recognized and respected for the outstanding care provided by our highly-skilled health care professionals. While we are using technology, training, and new investments to innovate and expand health care jobs to meet our future needs, we will also need to better protect our health care workers and provide safer-lifting for recipients of health care,” said Governor Doyle. “These grants will help Wisconsin’s health care workers stay on the job longer and with fewer injuries."
The grants are funded by the Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and administered by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The grants have been developed with the guidance of the Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Development. The Committee's mission is to identify and help implement top-priority, immediate and longer-term strategies for addressing the health care worker shortages in Wisconsin.
Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, community-based residential facilities, and home-based settings are encouraged to compete for the grants. Any health care provider, in partnership with the local Workforce Development Board, which makes a long-term commitment to implement a no-lift environment and with an interest in increasing the retention of health care workers, is eligible to apply. Creative partnership consortiums will be considered. The grant period is for one year from the date the grant is signed.
Grant applications are due June 2 and awards will be announced June 16. Detailed grant guidelines can be found on the DWD Health Care website at: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/healthcare/
Content Contact: Rose Lynch