RWHC is partnering with Acme Nerd Games (ANG), WI Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), Basil Data, and the WI Department of Instruction (DPI) to create an interactive computer game for rural Wisconsin high school students to explore rural health careers. The game’s purpose is to address the current and looming workforce shortages in rural healthcare through engaging young people with a fun and interactive game. The goals of the game are to increase awareness of and interest in choosing a rural health career path.
The idea for Rural Roads to Health Careers (RRHC) was formed after ANG delivered a highly successful similar game called “Finding your Path” (FYP) with UW Heath for the Madison Metropolitan School district. ANG approached RWHC with the idea of partnering, and the team was created. RRHC is not a copy of FYP, but a customized rural experience highlighting team based care, community connection, and rural based scenarios.
This project is a natural for these partners as all share priorities for health workforce development. This project offers a pipeline opportunity to grow that needed workforce from students who may not have considered these careers without this exposure and the opportunity to make choices within the no-risk environment of a game.
The game will ultimately include a data base created of rural health career information (expected salary, rural “day in the life” examples, future career opportunities and pathways, education requirements, etc.) for up to 60 careers. RWHC roundtables provide a great source of the “day in the life” examples. Initial funds will come from RWHC HW, with additional grants from DPI and SPL Legacy, and incredible in-kind support from all the partners.