Southwestern Oregon Healthcare Industry for Partnership (SOHIP) represents a different type of Emerging Champion, a consortium of healthcare employers, education and training providers, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders from Oregon’s rural southwestern counties. The partnership was formed in 2016 to address regional workforce challenges, which include major shortages in qualified and trained frontline workers. Their mantra? One single employer or organization cannot have the same impact as all of them working together.
SOHIP prides itself on being an employer-driven collaboration, working consistently to discuss and create strategies that address the needs of its 25 stakeholder organizations. Although still growing, a key strategy of this industry partnership has been to pool resources and create a steady stream of educated, trained, and certified medical assistants. So far, co-investment from SOHIP’s board and partners ensures that the program is free-of-charge to its 229 participants. Another program established to populate its worker pipeline is actually the state’s first medical assistant apprenticeship-based course that actively seeks underserved community members; to date, the program has enrolled 40 candidates who’ve been paid to complete 2,000 hands-on training hours and 156 online course hours. This inaugural cohort will be certified this June.