Facing a challenge

Small community, lack of opportunity cited in effort to recruit hospital workers


What will it take for health-care professionals to dedicate more time to work for Tsehootsoi Medical Center, or any hospital on the Navajo Nation?

The Fort Defiance Indian Health Board Inc. and the medical chief executive officer, Sandi Aretino, gave a report to the Health, Education and Human Services Committee Monday.

In their report they discussed the need to recruit and retain medical professionals from nurses to doctors.

“Employees don’t leave organizations, they leave supervisors,” said Margaret Lynch, chief of human resources. “At the end of the day when they decide to move, for the most part it’s because of the supervisors.”

And due to this, they have provided supervisors with tools to foster communication and provide support to employees and Lynch said they developed a “leadership boot camp.”

The leadership boot camp may address hospital management but when recruiting and retaining individuals to move to an area such as Fort Defiance, the medical center’s strategy is to first warn them about isolation. The medical center also offers competitive salaries and other incentives, but usually the most anyone will stay is two to three years.

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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.