CHA News Article

CHA Meets With HRSA Administrator Wakefield, HHS Regional Director Schultz

CHA hosted a stakeholder meeting May 2 with Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and Herb Schultz, regional director of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region IX. The meeting brought together federal and state health workforce officials and external stakeholders, including hospital leaders, to discuss work underway in California on health workforce development and to discuss strategies to leverage federal partnerships for funding.

Wakefield emphasized that assessing health workforce needs should not stop at supply-and-demand forecasting, and should take into consideration competencies required for health care delivery in the future, including cultural competency. She also expressed the need for and a commitment to interagency conversations around workforce development so resources are aligned and targeted in the most effective and efficient way possible. Wakefield said primary-care workforce development is important to the President, HHS and HRSA.

Schultz said California is ahead of many states in developing a coordinated infrastructure for health workforce planning. He pointed to efforts such as the California Health Workforce Development Council as vital to moving forward in developing a statewide strategy.

Hospital leaders expressed the need for incentive funding to expand clinical training opportunities for health professionals, in particular clinical lab scientists, and recommended a funding partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and HRSA to assist sites that want to train these critical, high-demand professionals.