Healthcare Network

Healthcare Network2018-03-05T09:51:28-05:00

The EcO Healthcare Network is a collaborative partnership among education, community and employers that seeks to optimize the local healthcare education pipeline to fill the critical workforce needs of healthcare employers in the Southeast Indiana.

The EcO Healthcare Network has a small guiding team of stakeholders that meets monthly to co-create solutions that benefit students, employers and community in support of critical and hard to fill jobs in healthcare.  Organizations that are part of the EcO Healthcare guiding team include:

Education and Community Partners:

Employer Partners:

  • Columbus Regional Health
  • Decatur County Memorial Hospital
  • Margaret Mary Health
  • Schneck Medical Center
  • Silver Oaks
  • Trilogy Health Services

The EcO Healthcare Network Goals:

  • Increase Awareness, Outreach and Recruitment of students into Health Careers
  • Coordinate and Align Health Career Pathways Education Offerings
  • Increase Student Enrollment & Success in High Demand Pathways
  • Increase School to Work Opportunities for high school and postsecondary students and teacher externship opportunities for healthcare pathways

Critical and Hard to Fill Healthcare Jobs

In 2017, the EcO Healthcare Network completed a regional workforce needs assessment.  Face to face interviews were completed with ten major healthcare employers.  The following jobs were identified through that survey as critical and hard to fill in our region:

  • Certified Nursing Assistants and Licensed Practical Nurses 
  • Registered Nurses
  • Masters-level nurses / Nurse Practitioners 
  • Certified Medical Assistants
  • Medical Lab Technicians
  • Physicians
  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Therapists
  • Ultrasound Tech / Sonographer
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Respiratory Therapists

The purpose of this network is to bring together educators, healthcare leaders, workforce, and community-based organizations that can work together to coordinate and align educational program offerings to students and adults that connect with well-paying healthcare jobs, which are in high demand in our region. The network is bringing several county level initiatives into better coordination and alignment with a goal of increasing enrollments and success rates.

Healthcare Career Navigation Strategies

There are key strategies the EcO Healthcare Network has identified as “catalytic” in nature, serving the network in both the short, and long-term as it works to recruit and develop students prepared for the high-demand and well-paying jobs within the healthcare sector.


One of the key strategies includes the addition of the accelerated BSN program at IUPUC.

The bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) accelerated program is designed for adults with previous non-nursing degrees.The BSN can be obtained in 12-18 months.This program required the funding of an additional faculty for the first year and IUPUC has agreed to fund the program after that time. Whereas, a traditional BSN program or the ITCC ASN to IUPUC BSN program turns out nurses every 3-5 years, this program can turn out 10 to 20 quality BSNs every year to help meet the 18,000 additional nurses needed in Indiana by 2020 (ICN, 2015). By training them locally, they are highly likely to enter the local workforce. The Accelerated BSN program was formally launched in May, 2016 and 9 of the 10 open program slots were filled immediately.

Regional Healthcare Guiding Team Members

Julie AbedianColumbus Regional Health, VP of Community Partnerships & Corporate Responsibility
Kathy CovertSchneck Medical Center, VP of Workforce & Organizational Development
Rhonda Fischer*EcO Network, Industry Sector Networks Manager
Kay GordayC4 Health Sciences, Nursing Instructor
Jeff HartzEast Indiana Area Health Education Center, Executive Director
Jenny KoorsEast Indiana Area Health Education Center, Pipeline Programs Coordinator
Daniel NoelColumbus Regional Health, Women's and Children's Services Director
Kathy Oren*Community Education Coalition/EcO Network, Executive Director
Tammie PhillipsDecatur County Memorial, Staff Development Coordinator
Danielle RobinsonIvy Tech Community College Columbus, Assistant Professor & Department Chair, Nursing
Christina RossIvy Tech Community College, Interim Dean Health Sciences/Dental Program Chair
Lisa ScriptureMargaret May Health, Human Resources
Beth SharerIndiana University School of Nursing at IUPUC, Head, Division of Nursing
Carrie ShaverIndiana University School of Nursing at IUPUC, Director, Regional Healthcare Pipeline
Julie WarrenSchneck Medical Center, Director Human Resources