Hebron’s Blue Valley Lutheran Homes hosts Rural Health Job Fair Thursday

Hebron’s Blue Valley Lutheran Homes hosts Rural Health Job Fair Thursday
Local healthcare employers, including Beatrice Community Hospital, Blue Valley Lutheran Homes and Jefferson Community Health and Life were present for Thursday's Rural Health Job Fair.

HEBRON – The Nebraska Department of Labor organized a Rural Health Job Fair at Blue Valley Lutheran Homes in Hebron Thursday afternoon. The event was open to the public from 3-6 p.m.

About 10 employers from Thayer, Jefferson, Gage and Fillmore counties were on hand to meet with local job seekers.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services was also there to answer any questions about licensure and certifications.

Along with Southeast Community College, clinics like Thayer County Health Services, Jefferson Community Health and Life, Fillmore County Health Services and Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center were present.

Rural hospitals have faced some decline in recent years. Since 2010, nearly 100 of them have closed nationwide. That’s about one per month.

Nebraska Department of Labor workforce coordinator Melanie Koontz says it’s more important than ever to attract workers to rural health care facilities.

“Our hospitals that we have here in this area are right along the Highway 81 corridor or Highway 15,” Kunc said. “There’s not a lot in between, and once they’re gone, they won’t come back. We have such a great rural area here, with a lot of great people here. There’s always going to be a need for rural healthcare.”

A recent study shows about 21 percent of rural hospitals in the U.S. are at high risk of imminent closure. Of the 70 rural hospitals in Nebraska, about eight of them are at risk of closure.

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