With a new recruitment and retention team and a relatively new field director, the Oregon Office of Rural Health (OR SORH) wanted some expert advice—so this past January they hosted an Educational Exchange with the North Dakota Center for Rural Health (ND SORH).

“We wanted to look at how to integrate our work and how to track our data, to see what effects we were having on recruitment and retention (R&R) and placement outcome on our rural communities,” said Robert Duehmig, OR SORH Director of Communications. “As programs change, and expectations from the feds change, it’s important to show what we’re doing and better understand what we’re not doing well.”

The OR SORH chose the ND SORH, Duehmig said, because “North Dakota always seemed to have this great program, and great relationships working with their clinics and hospitals.” Mark Barclay from the ND SORH attended. In addition, Kelly Quigley from TruServe was able to attend at the same time (with her visit paid by TruServe training funds).

Barclay met with all OR SORH staff at the start of the day and talked about ND SORH R&R efforts. Then the staff broke into teams. Barclay met with R&R staff to discuss sites, how to put together R&R plans, how to track data for candidates and how to extract data. Quigley met with small groups to talk about inputting TruServe data. “I thought the two of them coming out together, showing those two pieces together, was very helpful for us,” Duehmig said.

Duehmig rated the EE a success. “It’s important for our staff to have this professional interaction, to see how other states are doing R&R,” Duehmig said. “It was our first EE, but I hope not the last—either as a recipient of the program or offering our services.”

The Educational Exchange program supports leadership and partnership efforts of SORHs by offering and/or facilitating mentoring, education,information exchanges and training assistance. (NOSORH paid the travel costs for Barclay’s visit to the OR SORH.)


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