Baton Rouge Health District Launches $500,000 Health Workforce Initiative with Multiple New Grants

BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Baton Rouge Health District (BRHD) recently secured over $500,000 in anticipated workforce development funding from the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, Health District member institutions (including local hospitals and health affiliated organizations), and the federal Economic Development Administration to launch a new healthcare-focused workforce strategy aimed at addressing the expanding workforce talent gap in healthcare. Over the next three years, BRHD will utilize these funds to establish an employer-driven regional health workforce framework that will encompass new recruitment, retention, and development initiatives to raise awareness of the Health District as a prime destination to pursue a health career, receive training, or advance career opportunities. Some of the anticipated new programming will uniquely focus on offering individuals, living at or under the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) threshold, the opportunity for healthcare career training and placement.

“Health education and workforce are a key Health District priority,” says Steven Ceulemans, Executive Director of the Health District. “Our goal is for the Health District to be a center for advanced education, clinical practice, and workforce development in healthcare; and for our organization to serve as a nationally competitive workforce intermediary by creating alignment and synergy between our partners,” Ceulemans added. “The heart of a healthy and vibrant community is a strong, inspired healthcare workforce. This initiative will enhance the talent-base we currently have employed and create more opportunities to attract and develop new talent to pursue career pathways in healthcare within our community.”

BRHD will pilot this programming under its master plan focus area of Health Education and Workforce, leveraging its workforce partnerships to drive collaboration and alignment with local partners already active in workforce and career pipeline programming. The Health District was founded as a coalition of patient-focused, innovative healthcare organizations committed to the vision of a world-class, high-performing health destination at the heart of a healthy and vibrant community. Collectively, BRHD members employ close to 20,000 workers, representing almost 15% of all new regional jobs being created and a collective annual payroll of $1.8 billion. These new initiatives will advance a coordinated approach to health workforce recruitment, development and retention that meets the needs of local hospitals and job seekers.

“High quality healthcare, supported by accessible and skilled workers is essential to our community and region,” states Paul Douglas with Baton Rouge General and chair of the BRHD workforce committee. “We are confident that this initiative will accelerate our leadership in providing meaningful career opportunities that address critical workforce needs and set the standard for equitable industry growth.”

The new workforce initiative, called BRHireD, will focus on recruitment, training, placement, and retention across high demand healthcare positions within our local healthcare market. Numerous healthcare providers, education partners, and nonprofit organizations will engage in BRHireD over the next three years.

About the Baton Rouge Health District 

The Baton Rouge Health District is a regional coalition of patient-focused, innovative healthcare organizations committed to the vision of a world-class, high performing health destination at the heart of a healthy and vibrant community. More information is available at

Media Contact:

Steven Ceulemans


SOURCE Baton Rouge Health District