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Great Plains Health receives $134K Developing Youth Talent Initiative Grant

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Great Plains Health is one of two recipients for the Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) Grants for 2021.

Governor Pete Ricketts made the announcement Thursday afternoon. Ricketts launched the program in 2015. It introduces middle school students to careers in high demand industries, such as manufacturing, information technology, engineering and healthcare.

Each year, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development awards $250,000 in grants to support partnerships between the private sector and Nebraska Public Schools.

CEO Mel McNea said the funds will be used to purchase virtual reality technology to provide hands-on learning with medicine and how the body functions.

“Currently at Great Plains Health we have 149 open positions, 50 of those are for registered nurses and closing that workforce shortage is essential to the future and growth of healthcare in west central Nebraska, “McNea said. “Ensuring access to critical care in western Nebraska is one of my strategic initiatives as a CEO and this program is going to help us do that. The challenges right now in healthcare are many and this grant will help us and be able to deliver that quality care that is necessary.”

Great Plains Health was recently named one of the top rural hospitals in the country and also named one of the finalists for the Rocky Mountain Peak Award. The organization should know next month if they get a site visit.

Behlen Manufacturing in Columbus was the other grant recipient.