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Emphasize ‘employee retention’ at hospital

It’s not very comforting for the hospital to have a staff attrition rate “in line with the national average.” There are several challenges unique to rural areas, one of which is the lack of a ready, local talent pool from which to draw.

In a bigger city, there may be many skilled workers who can be recruited and hired without a need to relocate. Here in Cortez, replacement skilled workers often need to be brought in, and that comes with a raft of complicating factors that often result in that person leaving the job and the area after a short time.

I strongly encourage Southwest Memorial Hospital (as well as Axis and other employers of high-skill workers) to place a higher emphasis on employee retention and find ways to get to a much lower attrition rate than the national average.

One way to do this is to train and hire folks who grew up here, and who know what it is to live here. Another is to participate in rural training programs to give trainees experience working and living here. Cortez is a small ship and we need to keep all the crew we can.

Aaron Montano