Valerie DeForWinona State University announces the appointment of Valerie DeFor to the position of executive director of HealthForce Minnesota.

DeFor has served as interim executive director since August 2013, during which time she led HealthForce Minnesota in developing a mental health workforce plan for the State of Minnesota, expanded Scrubs Camp offerings, and collaborated on numerous healthcare workforce initiatives.

“As Minnesota’s population changes, the need for a robust, well-qualified, highly-skilled healthcare workforce grows,” said DeFor. “HealthForce is seen as a model for employer and education partnerships within Minnesota and across the country. I look forward to leading HealthForce Minnesota into its 10th year and continuing this important work.”

Previous to this appointment, DeFor worked statewide with healthcare providers, state agencies and higher education partners, leading a variety of initiatives for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. She earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from St. Olaf College and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Arizona State University.

“Ms. DeFor is an experienced leader who is dedicated to building strong relationships,” said WSU President Scott R. Olson. “We are grateful for her contributions and commitment as interim director and look forward to all that she will accomplish as we move forward.”

HealthForce Minnesota is the healthcare Center of Excellence within the MnSCU system. HealthForce Minnesota is a collaborative partnership of education, industry and community that was created to increase the number and expand the diversity of healthcare workers; to integrate health science education, practice and research; and to build capacity for education and industry to collaborate to enhance patient care. WSU has hosted HealthForce Minnesota since it was established in October 2005.

For more information contact the WSU Communications Office at 507-457-5024.

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Andrea Northam

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