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NELA Healthcare Alliance wins international award

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

The Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance won the prestigious international Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) at the IEDC Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Healthcare Alliance, a collaboration of healthcare organizations, economic and workforce development organizations, and education and community partners, earned a bronze award in the category of Innovation Programs and Initiatives for populations 25,000-200,000.

IEDC is the world’s foremost professional organization for economic developers. The groundbreaking initiative is led by Workforce Development Boards 83 and 81 and was initially funded by a $60,000 grant from the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The work undertaken by the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance impacts more than 16,300 healthcare professionals, 4,300 students enrolled in healthcare-related programs, and more than 355,000 potential patients across Northeast Louisiana, South Arkansas and East Mississippi. Monroe is considered the healthcare hub of excellence for this three-state region.

“I’m honored to receive this award and so incredibly proud of the impact the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance has made in Region 8,” said Doretha Bennett, Executive Director, Workforce Development Board 81

North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an Accredited Economic Development Organization, submitted the award application nominating the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance.

The Healthcare Alliance is a sector partnership which includes representation from the healthcare sector in Northeast Louisiana, comprised of hospitals, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities and home health organizations.

The goal of the Healthcare Alliance is to support the stability and growth of the healthcare industry and to promote a healthier community in Northeast Louisiana.

The Alliance is committed to coordinated action in high priority areas, identified by public and private sector partners. The group developed impactful initiatives that addressed important healthcare issues, such as the critical need for nurses, improving patient transport, streamlining LPN licensing and educating legislators on the challenges faced by healthcare providers.

The award-winning initiative, funded by three grants totaling $450,000 from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, the Living Well Foundation, and the Ouachita Economic Development Corporation, addresses the need for nurses.

The program supports six qualified registered nurses (RNs) as adjunct faculty to teach nursing clinicals at regional healthcare facilities during nontraditional times to reduce scheduling conflicts with existing clinical rotations.

This regional effort expands the capacity of training providers to accept an additional 180 students seeking RN licensure thus serving 15,600 additional patients who will receive quality care. Also, the new RNs will see an increase in their median earnings.

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