Healthcare coalition addresses workforce shortage


A new report shines a spotlight on healthcare workforce challenges and offers solutions.

The workforce development report was released this week by a coalition of New York healthcare associations, with a grant by the Mother Cabrini Health foundation. The report follows a May 16 summit on workforce challenges.

In the report, experts recommended strategies, including a New York State Master Plan on Aging to bolster long-term care supports, recognize how COVID-19 impacted older and adults and respond to how aging is changing in New York.

The plan would implement evidenced-based tested recruitment and retention training models, including student loan assistance to attract and retain talent.

The plan also calls for a revitalized training program from the Healthcare Reform Act of 1996 that would allow workers to train for shifting needs.

It would reestablish the “Health Occupation Development and Workplace Demonstration Program, which allows provider‐specific regulatory and operational flexibility for workforce support and innovation,” according to the report.

And it calls for new training models, including introducing middle school students to healthcare careers, and pathways to education including through community college pathways and other programs for interested high school students, as modeled elsewhere.

Other recommendations include reassessing how technology can broaden access to care, and bolstering technology training. They include new career advancements, improved compensation including through tuition assistance and student-loan forgiveness.

“The pandemic has been a period of rapid transformation in healthcare unlike any we’ve seen before. It continues to significantly impact our workforce,” Bea Grause, president of Healthcare Association of New York State, said in a statement.

“Hospitals, home care providers and others across the care continuum are committed to working together to bolster the pipeline and support our current caregivers, Grause added.

The coalition is co-led by the Home Care Association of New York State/HCA Education and Research, Healthcare Association of New York State/Healthcare Educational and Research Fund and Iroquois Healthcare Association.

“The problems we are facing now have a profound impact on our future, IHA President and CEO Gary Fitzgerald said in a statement.

“The HCA-IHA-HANYS Statewide Hospital-Home Care Collaborative is thinking strategically about the issues and making sure the solutions are multi-faceted,” he added. “The Workforce Development Summit report is an incredible tool because it compounds many different outlooks and expertise from all over the country. With innovative thinking and a community mindset, we can use these tools to build a better future in health care.”


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