Health Research Insitute Guest Presentation

Friday, May 24, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm
UNBC 5-405
Prince George
We are delighted to have Dr. Cath Cosgrave, PhD. MA, Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health, Australia present on:
Trialling a whole-of-person approach for improving retention of rural-based health professionals

Aim: Attracting and retaining health professionals is a 'wicked' problem facing most rural health services in Australia and globally. Based on research conducted by Dr Cosgrave on factors influencing the retention of rural AHPs she developed a whole-of-person (WoP) retention improvement framework. In 2018 (The University of Melbourne - Department of Rural Health) established a partnership with two Victorian public health services (East Grampians Health Service and Goulburn Valley Health) to trial a retention improvement program targeting newly-arrived health professionals. The project's aim is to reduce avoidable turnover by implementing strategies to improve job and personal satisfaction of new staff.

Method: A participatory action research methodology is being used. Each site has a co-funded Project Worker. The research commenced with Dr Cosgrave interviewing eligible staff and key informants to identify context-specific workforce issues. This data and the WoP framework were then analysed to develop a set of recommendations for each health service to improve retention of the of its health workforce and to establish early career retention targets.

Results: This presentation will explain the WoP retention framework and present key findings from the data collected. Some of the current retention improvement activities being undertaken by the health services will be presented, including social connection strategies and early career support programs.  The similarities and differences between the two sites and their turnover/retention data will be discussed. The challenges the two rural health services are experiencing leading this complex cultural change process will be presented. The experience of rural communities taking an active role in a workforce retention initiative will also be covered.

This presentation has broad relevance for health services, rural communities, and government agencies wanting to address the wicked problem of rural health workforce shortages.

A Bluejeans link will also be available for this presentation:
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