The MHA, the Michigan Community College Association, Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities and the Michigan Association of State Universities released June 1 a collaborative proposal to invest state funds in expanding access to bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree programs to the state’s 28 community college campuses. The proposal, which aims to allocate $56 million to eligible community colleges that partner with a four-year institution, will increase access to BSN degree programs, especially in rural communities and areas of the state currently lacking a four-year degree granting institution.
The MHA supports the proposal since the investment should help address the talent pipeline for nurses and improve overall hospital nursing across Michigan. Increasing access to programs throughout the state and creating opportunities for those programs to be more affordable will have a direct, positive impact on the nursing workforce.
“Staffing shortages are impacting Michigan hospitals throughout the state, particularly in the areas of nursing,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters in the press release. “This plan will help us get more highly skilled professionals into the field quickly and increase access to nursing education in more communities across the state.”
Also supporting the proposal are the Michigan Works! Association, Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators. Media coverage of the announcement includes a story from WWMT-TV in Grand Rapids.
The MHA Graduate Medical Education (GME) Advocacy Day welcomed 32 physician residents from more than a dozen member hospitals to the MHA Capitol Advocacy Center offices May 5 for a day of meetings with members of the Michigan Legislature and their staffs. Each group of residents met with a combination of lawmakers and legislative staff throughout the day, with conversations focusing on the importance of GME funding and the role it plays in Michigan’s healthcare workforce talent pipeline.
Meetings were held in the Michigan Capitol, the Anderson House Office Building and the Senate Binsfeld Office Building. Most of the meetings involved current members of both the House and Senate health policy committees, which is where the majority of healthcare legislation originates. Participating lawmaker offices included those of Senate Health Policy Minority Vice Chair Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), Senate Health Policy member Sen. Kim LaSata (R-Niles), House Health Policy Majority Vice Chair Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville) and House Health Policy Minority Vice Chair Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township).
Residents used and shared with lawmakers an infographic that provides facts regarding GME and the healthcare workforce shortage. With the nation experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers, residents reinforced the value of GME investment and physician residency training to help address physician shortages.
Members with questions on GME and state legislation related to the healthcare workforce should contact Elizabeth Kutter at the MHA.
The Michigan Health & Hospital Association is promoting Laura Appel to executive vice president of government relations and public policy from her prior role as senior vice president, health policy & innovation. In this role, which takes effect Feb. 28, Appel will have executive oversight of the MHA’s Capitol Advocacy Center.
Appel joined the MHA in 2000 following a career at the Michigan House of Representatives as a director and policy analyst. Throughout her time at the MHA, Appel has focused on strategic priorities related to state and federal lobbying and healthcare policy analysis, including issues such as auto no-fault insurance, behavioral health, Medicare and Medicaid policy and the 340B drug pricing program.
“It is clear that Laura has earned the respect of the MHA Board of Trustees, as well as her peers, and I am confident that she will help lead the MHA effectively into the future,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters.
Also joining the MHA Advocacy team as of Feb. 22 is Elizabeth Kutter, JD, now the MHA’s senior director, government & political affairs. Kutter joins the MHA from Wayne State University, where she served as director, state relations, since May 2020. Prior to that, Kutter worked as manager, government affairs, at Henry Ford Health System.
In addition to these advocacy-focused changes, the MHA also welcomes Sarah Scranton, MPA, MPP, as the MHA’s new vice president of safety and quality and the MHA Keystone Center’s new executive director effective Feb. 28. Scranton has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and public policy. She is the former executive director of the Arthritis Foundation of Michigan. She has also served as executive director at Tomorrow’s Child and Planned Parenthood Advocates and Affiliates of Michigan. As executive director, Scranton will work closely with MHA and MHA Keystone Center staff and governing boards to execute the association’s mission, vision and values.