Health Care Foundation Announces initiative to Fund Training Opportunities for Providers

The North Shore Health Care Foundation (NSHCF) announced its initiative intended to address a critical shortage of emergency responders/technicians, nurse aids, medical assistants and licensed practical nurses in Cook County. 

Titled “Investing in Our Future Health Care Workforce Solutions,” it has the NSHCF investing in a state-of-the-art Trauma Manikin Simulator that will allow students to locally complete necessary medical training and certifications. The manikin has responsive vitals, the ability to bleed and release fluids and will communicate to the trainee through the operator. It is portable for use in exercises in remote parts of the county. 

According to NSHCF, the sophisticated Trauma Manikin will improve hands-on skills training for those pursuing health careers and complements the EMT/EMR training curriculum developed by Jon Moe, Education Director at North Shore Health. The curriculum was recently approved by the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board.

“Simulation allows a student to experience a real-life situation in a safe learning environment,” Moe said.

The training curriculum and manikin simulator will mean that trainees may receive necessary training and certification for certain career positions without leaving the county.

The fundraising goal for this initiative is $80,000 and NSHCF is dedicating $30,000 of its 2023 grant budget toward the effort. Public donations have been kicked off with a $10,000 donation from Schroeder resident Virginia Erickson who recognizes the value of well trained first responders after a cardiac event she experienced last year.

NSHCF, recognizing the urgent need for training resources in Cook County, has secured a low interest, short-term loan from Grand Marais State Bank to expedite the purchase of the training simulator which is expected to cost $57,000. 

“This investment (in the manikin) and collaboration with local healthcare providers will change how and where those interested in health care careers, current health professionals and emergency services units can complete accredited healthcare programs and recertifications,” said Valerie Marasco Eliasen, the Executive Director of NSHCF. “The foundation exists to support healthcare and address gaps in health services. This is a prime example of where our leadership can benefit healthcare and the community.”

The word manikin comes from a Dutch word, “manneken” which translates to “Little Man.” It is similar to the word mannequin, which generally is applied to human sized dolls displaying the latest in fashion.

The first manikin was built in the early 1960s and was used to teach people how to properly perform CPR. It was engineered and built by Asmund Laerdal, a successful Norwegian maker of plastic toys.

NSHCF started in 1993 by a motivated group of Cook County residents looking to improve health services while taking a leadership role in larger health projects. NSHCF is an independant, 501(c)(3) non-profit that has, since 1995, awarded over $1.16 million in grants for health care and healthy living programs in Cook County.

You may contribute to the Investing in Our Future Health Care Workforce Solutions fundraising campaign online at, by mail to PO Box 454, Grand Marais, MN 55604 or in person at 21 West 2nd Street in Grand Marais.