NACHC is fully engaged in a long-term strategy to secure a primary care workforce that meets both the needs of our nation overall and the specific needs of America’s Health Centers and the patients for whom they care. Current estimates about shortages of primary care providers loom large: 45-50,000 by 2025 for the nation as a whole. According to ACCESS Transformed: Building a Primary Care Workforce for the 21st Century, health centers need up to 19,500 primary care providers and up to 14,400 nurses to reach 30 million patients by 2015.
Given this backdrop, NACHC, primary care associations (PCAs) and health centers must own a proactive approach to provider recruitment and retention. This approach should aim to support the existing workforce and attain, groom, and retain compassionate healers who provide excellent clinical care and feel professionally at home in a Community Health Center.
At the national level, NACHC’s strategies are crafted to influence pre-medical school, medical school, residency and post-residency factors. Questions about the nation’s workforce supply, composition and distribution require constant monitoring, with careful attention to their impact on health centers. At the organizational level, all health centers should be continually asking the following questions: Do we anticipate growing and thus will need more providers? Do we anticipate losing providers? Do we have the right "mix" of providers?
To stay informed about and become involved in workforce issues at the national level, consider becoming active in NACHC. To find out what is happening in your state or region, contact your state or regional primary care association. Also, take a look at HRSA’s workforce-related Health Center Program Policy Information Notices and Program Assistance Letters, including Federal Tort Claims Act Coverage of Free Clinic Volunteer Health Care Professionals - Revised June 18, 2009 and Updating National Health Service Corps Vacancy Lists: A Critical Step to Address Health Centers' Workforce Needs.
Stay up-to-date with the latest health workforce news and events, and connect with experts and organizations across the country by visiting the Health Workforce Information Center (HWIC) online. Supported by HRSA, HWIC provides free access to the most recent resources on the nation’s health workforce to help health providers, educators, researchers and policymakers develop strategies to meet future workforce demands.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Jobs Center, which replaces the former Job Opportunities List (JOL), is now available. The Jobs Center is easier to search and navigate significantly improving the way job seekers learn about and communicate with NHSC-approved sites. The new Jobs Center also allows NHSC sites greater flexibility to share information about their site and community in their own words, with pictures and direct links. Features include: Opportunity for sites to showcase photos of their site and community images; Google based mapping, making it easy to find schools, places of worship and other community amenities; Details about each site such as languages spoken by patients, specialties offered, size of practice, and more; Social media integration; Expanded search options for job seekers by HPSA score, distance from an address, and more.
And, in the battle of our lives to maintain and grow to serve the needs of those underserved whom we can’t walk away from – be inspired: LISTEN TO Tom Curtin, MD, former NACHC Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer delivering the commencement keynote address to graduates at A.T. Still University, School of Health Management, Saturday, May 28, 2011, at the Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall on the campus of Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri.
NACHC has culled key resources related to primary care workforce and organized them into the Web site sections listed below. E-mail Katja Laepke with questions, suggestions or corrections.
|Benchmarks and Data Defining the Need||Future of Medical Education|
|Hometown Partnerships for Health||National Partners|
|Resources and Tools for Recruitment and Retention||Resources for New Medical Directors|