ASPIN Recruitment and Retention Consortium (ARRC): Partnering to improve behavioral health in rural Indiana
Written by Angie LaFlamme, Senior Program Coordinator, National Rural Health Resource Center/Rural Health Innovations
Rural Health Innovations (RHI) worked with ASPIN and their member health care organizations on collaboration in their behavioral health technician recruitment and retention efforts during an on-site visit on June 15, 2017. Clockwise from top left: Paul Conrad, Director of Training and Workforce Development, ASPIN; Robb Backmeyer, COO of Recovery Services, Centerstone; Ben Hall, Senior Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Centerstone; Chris Morrison, ARRC Project Coordinator, ASPIN; Eric McCray, Recruitment Coordinator, Bowen Center; Angie LaFlamme, Senior Program Coordinator, Rural Health Innovations; Kathy Cook, CEO, ASPIN; Amy Coplen, Employment Coordinator, Four County Counseling Center.
Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana (ASPIN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit behavioral health provider and education network offering access to clinical providers in over 50 locations throughout the state of Indiana. As a result of being awarded a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Network Allied Health Training grant, the network formed the ASPIN Recruitment and Retention Consortium (ARRC) in September 2015. ARRC brings key partners together to improve behavioral health and well-being among Indiana’s rural communities that experience health professional shortages.
This June, Debra Laine and I traveled to Indianapolis for an on-site technical assistance (TA) visit with ARCC staff and partners, where we asked them to share information on their network’s best practices, lessons learned, challenges, significant outcomes and achievements, sustainability, and evaluation. Below are the accomplished and motivating responses we received from Kathy Cook, CEO/President, Paul Conrad, Director of Training and Workforce Development, and Chris Morrison, ARRC Program Coordinator.
Q: What are some of the accomplishments you’ve seen during this grant project?
A: There has been notable impact having stemmed from the Employee Satisfaction Surveys feedback activities and the Health Care Organization’s Recruitment and Retention plan strategies that have been implemented.
We have also had great success in our social media campaigns as well as alternative student recruitment strategies we’ve used for behavioral health student and employee recruitment. Our target marketing has been quite effective.
Our executive leadership expressed buy-in from the beginning and has been very enthusiastic about the work we’ve done in bringing key partners together to improve behavioral health and well-being among Indiana’s rural HPSA [Health Professional Shortage Area] communities.
Q: What challenges or barriers has your program encountered?
A: Student recruitment has been a challenge of ours. The level of follow-through from the applicants can minimal at times.
Navigating the many advertising/marketing mediums took some time. There was a lot of trial and error in ultimately determining which venues worked best for us in reaching our target markets.
Our rural geography has also been a challenge. We target schools in rural areas to promote the awareness of Behavioral Health Technicians. Our hope is to recruit students into the educational training programs for this profession and upon graduation, placing them into the rural area clinics and hospitals.
Q: How have ASPIN’s collaborations helped your program succeed?
Q: What lessons have you learned throughout the project?
Q: What have been some of ASPIN’s most significant outcomes?
Q: How is ASPIN approaching sustainability?
Q: On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), how do you rate your network for sustainability following the grant program?
A: We rate our sustainability at a five, by expanding the ARRC Network for continued collaborative work.
Q: How are you implementing your evaluation plan?
Q: What are your major activities or initiatives for this year?
Q: What are a few of ASPIN’s best practices that you would like to share with other networks?
The National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining and improving health care in rural communities. Rural Health Innovations, LLC is a subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center.