CHRISTUS Health battles worker shortage with opportunity fairs

Fowler says due to the pandemic, the health industry is currently facing a worker shortage.
“We designed this program to impact and inspire students at the high school level, to get them interested in health care positions because of the shortage,” sai
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 1:53 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - CHRISTUS health visited Chapel Hill High School students today to host their third opportunity fair.

“We designed this program to impact and inspire students at the high school level, to get them interested in health care positions because of the shortage,” said Deedee Fowler.

Deedee Fowler is the program talent acquisition manager at CHRISTUS Health.

Fowler said, due to the pandemic, the health industry is currently facing a worker shortage.

Fowler said the hospital is in dire need of people to fill positions related to nursing, radiology, laboratories, and respiratory therapy.

“Hospitals are having to contract these type of workers, so when they go out to these hospitals and contract in these different areas, they can take these positions with them because they can travel to different areas. They typically pay a little bit more than what they are paying locally,” said Fowler.

CHRISTUS Health is making it their mission to hold opportunity fairs at school districts that are often underserved.

“With a shortage, you know, some students don’t know that these opportunities even exist,” said Fowler.

“I mean, money does play a big action in it, but I think it’s more about making others happy,” said Chapel Hill Junior Ethan Mendez.

Mendez’s goal is to be a surgeon. He was inspired to enter the health field after seeing his aunt conduct her travel nurse duties.

Martinez said she’s thankful for the opportunity fair. She feels lucky compared to other high school students who may never get a chance to meet a potential employer within the health field.

Fowler said the opportunity fair is a chance to showcase careers in the health care industry, as well as to tell students what degrees they need to pursue for specific fields.

“There are opportunities, they can’t just settle for a high school diploma. They can go to your junior colleges and your four-year universities and get degrees in the medical field and have a really nice income,” said Fowler.