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Stonerise Care Blog

We Look Ahead: Collaboration Among Healthcare & Educational Players is Key

By Stonerise

With new and improved COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, we look ahead to times when COVID-19 will not dominate the work we do on a daily basis. We see a landscape shaped not only by the lessons we learned and the actions we took during the pandemic, but also by shifts already underway in consumer health demands and post-acute care demands. Stonerise is ready for whatever tomorrow may bring. We look ahead with hope.

This is the second of a 3-part series on our vision for the future.

We talk about the “Stonerise family” and accept the responsibility that comes with being both a provider of care and employer in our close-knit communities. Even still, the pandemic challenged our notion of who provides care. We have learned in a very fast, raw and emotional way that in healthcare, we are all connected, and we are all instrumental in the provision of care.

The need for collaboration during patient health transitions will only increase over time and we must continue to get better at it within the Stonerise Network and throughout the communities we serve. That means assuming a “team member” mindset when working with county health departments and other public health officials, other healthcare providers and referral partners, policy makers, payors and more. We are stronger together than separate. When we don’t work together, everyone loses – most importantly, our patients.

More specifically, we will need to meaningfully address the ongoing labor shortages in the healthcare industry. Recruitment was a challenge prior to the pandemic, it escalated during the pandemic and – given the spotlight that has been placed on how difficult it is to do this work over the past year – this challenge will certainly continue. At Stonerise today, over 51% of our overall team members are nurses (CNAs, LPNs, RNs and NPs) and 11% are skilled therapists.

We have begun advocating for our educational institutions and hospitals to train significantly more clinicians, including skilled nursing professionals who cannot be ignored in developing nursing educational and employment tracts. The transitional care industry (short term and long term) competes for the same clinical team members as hospitals and other providers.

We need to make West Virginia and our rural communities more attractive places to live. We need to draw talent from metropolitan areas who may be discontented with life in a city.

We need to work together to encourage more people to choose a career as a healthcare provider, offer them pathways for meaningful and fairly compensated roles, and support them at every stage of their career. This is a healthcare industry and community problem, and more public and private coalitions need to be formed.

Read our full COVID-19 journey and vision for the future, here.