Association of Academic Health Centers Applauds Administration's Efforts to Expand Health Workforce

Nov 21, 2011, 09:53 ET from Association of Academic Health Centers

Asserts Funding of National Health Care Workforce Commission, Comprehensive Strategies Required to Avert Workforce Shortages

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) is pleased that President Obama has indicated his intention to expand the health workforce in the HHS announcement to commit as much as $1 billion in funding to hire, train, and deploy healthcare workers.

AAHC applauds and welcomes the Administration's initial steps to avert potentially acute health workforce shortages.  "However, developing a health workforce that meets the population's needs will require more than just an influx of money," said Dr. Steven A. Wartman, AAHC President and CEO, adding, "there is no doubt that as the population ages and the medical needs of our society grow and change, we must ensure that the health workforce is of adequate size and well distributed throughout the country, while possessing the appropriate skill sets to meet the needs of the nation."

AAHC's landmark report, Out of Order, Out of Time: The State of the Nation's Health Workforce, "highlights the historically fragmented and ineffective health workforce policies that undermine accessible healthcare and threaten to continue to do so in the future," said Wartman, emphasizing that, "the country is in great need of an integrated, comprehensive, and coordinated national health workforce policy."  The National Health Care Workforce Commission (NHCWC) was established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to inform such a policy.  A distinguished group of experts was appointed to the commission over a year ago.  However, that group has still been unable to begin its crucial work because Congress has yet to appropriate any funds for the Commission.

"Until Congress allocates funds to this important commission, the rational expansion of an adequate and capable health workforce will remain difficult to attain," said Wartman.

The AAHC is a national non-profit association representing more than 100 academic health centers, with a mission to improve the nation's healthcare system by mobilizing and enhancing the strengths and resources of the academic health center enterprise in health professions education, patient care, and research.

SOURCE Association of Academic Health Centers