Innovative plan to improve rural health delivery topic of March 31 luncheon at UW-Eau Claire

March 31 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Speakers representing the Mayo Clinic, the UW-Eau Claire and a regional healthcare startup will speak during a March 31 luncheon produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council with support from Momentum West.

The luncheon will be held at the UW-Eau Claire Davies Center, 77 Roosevelt Avenue, Dakota Room. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for individual members, $10 for students and returning veterans, $35 for general admission and included for Tech Council corporate members. Click here to register.

Panelists are Mayo Clinic project leaders Sara Carstens and Rena Hale of Mayo; Mike Carney, assistant chancellor for strategic partnerships and program development for UW-Eau Claire; Danielle Williams, assistant deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development.; and Scott Zielski, chief executive officer of SMARTcare Software.

They will discuss a multi-pronged approach to boosting health education, delivery and outcomes across northwestern Wisconsin, a three-year process that will lever a $9.4-million state grant to increase the number of nurses, nurse educators, other high-skill health workers, young teachers and a new category of “health coaches.”

The competitive grant to launch the program came from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and represents the first pilot project of its kind. WiSys and the Small Business Development Center in Eau Claire are among other project partners.

“The program has four main goals: Addressing rural workforce shortages for nurses, teachers and social workers; developing UW-Eau Claire degree programs and career pathways in high-demand health fields; piloting technology-enabled health care hubs and “care coaches” to bridge between providers and patients; and working with entrepreneurs and local business owners as resources for innovation,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

This luncheon is sponsored by UW-Eau Claire with opening remarks from Chancellor Jim Schmidt and Dr. Rick Helmers, vice president of the northwest Wisconsin region for Mayo Clinic. Momentum West is a partner in the Tech Council Innovation Network’s events in western Wisconsin.

The Tech Council is the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and Legislature, with events, publications and outreach that build Wisconsin’s tech-based economy. To join, go to or call 608-442-7557.

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