Oregon Health Policy Board discuss HOWTO Grant Program

On November 6th, the Oregon Health Policy Board held their monthly meeting. David W. Robinson, Executive Vice Provost at Oregon Health & Science University, presented the Healthy Oregon Workforce Training Opportunity (HOWTO) grant program.

Oregon has given $8 million in funding for the new HOWTO grant program with the goal to broaden health professional training in Oregon and to prepare for future healthcare workforce shortages in rural Oregon. The training will be community-based and directed by the OHPB and partnered with the Oregon Health Authority and OHSU.

Applications from Oregon community-based educational institutions, consortia, and healthcare organizations seeking funding for training programs for healthcare workforce shortages were due on October 12th, 2018. The desired training programs include addressing health disparities and social determinants, encourages ethnic and linguistic diversity, works upon existing health training programs, and works with other programs already in the place.

The application requirements consist of detailing how they plan to utilize community resources, show financial investment besides the grant funds, present data of workforce shortage in their community and how they plan to fix it, and how they will sustain their plan once the funds are used up.

Currently, they are putting together a grant review panel that consist of a diverse group of people with differing occupations and backgrounds. According to the proposal, they will be reviewing each grant based on these 7 points and independently scoring them:

  • Factor 1: Executive Summary and Problem Statement (10 points)
  • Factor 2: Organizational Capability (10 points)
  • Factor 3: Goals and Objectives (10 points)
  • Factor 4: Outcomes (10 points)
  • Factor 5: Program Plan including Proposed Interventions/Plan, Target Populations and Organizations, and Project Management (30 points total)
  • Factor 6: Evaluation Plan and Innovation (20 points total)
  • Factor 7: Budget (10 points)

The scoring will be sent to a grant advisory panel that will make the final decision. The panel will try to make the decision by December 14th. They are hoping to distribute the money by January 1st, 2019.

Funds can be applied for up to three years. It is expected that there will be funds for eight to ten projects of $500,000 and three to four projects of $500,000 to $1 million. Applicants must document proof of all costs. There is no guarantee depending on the quality of the grant applications or how rigorous they are, so funding might not be given the first round.

Shelly R. Ziegler was recently hired by OHSU to be the Grant Program Administrator. Ziegler will be the contact person for applicants, awardees, media, and the public. Ziegler will also be accountable for monitoring the HOWTO program website, along with assisting with the progress of the application review.

For more information, you can view the grant program proposal.