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Health Workforce Council

The goal of the Health Workforce Council is to address the severe current and projected shortages of healthcare personnel in Washington. Council members represent business, labor, education, and government.

Be the link--Help spot health workforce trends

If you're a healthcare provider in Washington, we encourage you to join the Health Sentinel Network to help identify emerging health workforce demands. Become one of the Sentinels.--NEW!

 

Receive our short weekly email updates on Workforce issues.

 

 

Behavioral Health Stakeholder Group meets (more meeting details here)

The Health Workforce Council has been interested in efforts to integrate physical and behavioral healthcare, and expand interprofessional education.

Behavioral health is an evolving area in the healthcare field and incorporates a wide range of issues, including mental health, behaviors that impact health, such as eating and exercising, as well as chemical dependency. Because physical health and behavioral health issues frequently go together, there is an increased focus on finding ways to treat both issues, particularly in a primary care setting.

The Workforce Board, in partnership with the Health Workforce Council, will evaluate current and projected workforce shortages in behavioral health. It's not clear from current data how many Washington healthcare professionals offer behavioral health services and if they are adequate in number to meet demand.

"This evaluation will establish a baseline for behavioral health workforce shortages and provide a plan for improving how we coordinate the right services for patients," said Gov. Inslee. "We need to better understand how and where our citizens are receiving services, identify providers meeting those needs and expand training opportunities. It is crucial for Washingtonians to get the 'whole person' healthcare services they need."

Read more about the evaluation here.

 

 

More about the Council

The Council regularly updates a strategic plan. The plan outlines actions for the Legislature, state and local agencies, educators, labor, healthcare industry  employers, and workers to take to close the gap. In 2003, the Legislature passed Engrossed Senate House Bill 1852 directing the Workforce Board to continue convening the Council, to monitor the state plan and report to the Legislature annually.

The Council holds public meetings at least twice a year to oversee progress on achieving the goals and strategies of the plan.

What is the Council plan for addressing healthcare personnel shortages?

The Council plan outlines six goals:

  • Increase educational capacity and efficiency in healthcare training programs to enable more people to gain qualification to work in healthcare occupations.
  • Recruit more individuals, especially targeted populations, into healthcare occupations and promote adequate preparation prior to entry.
  • Develop a data collection and analysis system to assess health workforce supply and demand.
  • Retain current healthcare workers.
  • Enable local communities to implement strategies to alleviate the healthcare personnel shortage in their areas.
  • Develop a mechanism to ensure continued collaboration among stakeholders, track progress, create accountability for fulfilling this plan, and to plan for future health workforce needs.

Does the Council report to the Legislature?
Yes, state statute passed in 2003 (ESHB 1852) requires the task force to report progress annually to the Governor and Legislature.


Who may attend Council meetings?

Anyone is welcome to observe Council meetings. There is space for about 40 audience members at each meeting.


How does the Council connect to local Skill Panels?
Since 2000, the Workforce Board has issued grants to support Industry Skill Panels for the purpose of enhancing competitiveness for industries that are key to a local region’s economy. healthcare is considered such an industry and there are healthcare Skill Panels in each of the state’s 12 Workforce Development Areas. While health Skill Panels are not solely responsible for activities that eliminate health workforce shortages, they play a pivotal role and are often a catalyst.

Contact: Nova Gattman, (360) 709-4612

 

 

 

 

 

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