Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - July 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Area needs recruits for health care career fields
Polk County Enterprise - July 2008
LIVINGSTON — Attracting and educating more health care workers is a key element needed to meet the demands of the growing population in Polk County, according to staff members at Memorial Medical Center-Livingston. As more retirees choose to make Polk C o u n t y their home, the area will need more phys i c i a n s , n u r s e s , r e s p i r a - tory techn i c i a n s , radiology t e c h n i - cians and other medical professionals, according to a statement released by the hospital this week. Funding for junior colleges and universities to educate health care professionals in rural areas is crucial, said Doug Wilder, director of respiratory therapy at MMC-L. “It will ensure that the health care needs of Polk County’s current and future residents are met. Wilder recently took this message to Austin. He presented ideas on how to fund health care education for professionals at a meeting held by the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Texas International Relations and Trade Committee. Additionally, Wilder participated in discussions on how to effectively educate and staff health care workers in rural areas such as Livingston.
Physicians, educators and hospital chief executive offi cers were among those who testifi ed along side Wilder who currently serves as President-Elect of the Texas Society for Respiratory Care. “The Senators on this panel are considering adding more money toward health care education in Texas to increase the number of medical professionals needed for the continuing population growth in Texas,” Wilder said. Wilder will work with our local State Senator Robert Nichols and his legislative assistant in the coming months on how the area can attract and retain health care professionals. The next session of the Texas Legislature begins in January 2009.