Four States and Territories to Participate in NGA Healthcare Workforce Policy Academy

The National Governors Association to work with American Samoa, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming on strategic planning to strengthen the healthcare workforce.

American Samoa, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming were selected to participate in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) Next Generation of the Healthcare Workforce Policy Academy from a highly competitive application process. The Policy Academy is an eight-month opportunity to support strategic planning to strengthen the healthcare workforce, a top priority for Governors. These states and territory have also participated in the 26-state and territory Next Generation of the Healthcare Workforce Network  over the past few years that aims to foster peer-to-peer learning and provide targeted technical assistance on a variety of healthcare workforce challenges through the NGA Center.

The U.S. faces healthcare workforce shortages exacerbated by healthcare provider burnout and stress from the COVID-19 pandemic. This shortage is projected to get worse over time as the population ages and healthcare services are in higher demand. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) projects a shortage of 139,940 physicians in the U.S. by 2036, including 68,020 primary care physicians. HRSA estimates the demand for direct care workers will grow by 41% by 2036. To meet these workforce needs, the Policy Academy will focus on state and territory actions to bolster cross-agency healthcare workforce strategic planning and specific areas of the healthcare workforce including but not limited to, behavioral health, direct care, nursing, and rural providers as well as resiliency and the effects of trauma on the healthcare workforce. With support and partnership from HRSA, the NGA Center will assist states with drafting long-term strategic plans for the healthcare workforce and provide opportunities to convene cross-agency teams across state government to draft these plans.

Through the Policy Academy, the four participating states and territory will (1) join a virtual kick-off meeting and monthly virtual learning and peer learning opportunities, (2) develop a strategic action plan to implement new strategies or strengthen existing strategies, (3) begin the work of enacting the plan, (4) receive ongoing technical assistance from NGA Center staff and consultants in support of project goals, including a site visit from the NGA team, and (5) attend an in-person wrap-up meeting and in-person technical assistance site visits. Expected outcomes of the project include aligning state agencies and Governors’ offices through new taskforces, workgroups, partnerships, or formal cross-agency agreements; fostering new partnerships and greater collaboration; forming new public-private partnerships with community-based organizations and community partners; and laying the foundation for new initiatives, funding opportunities, or administrative policies.

The Policy Academy will run from February to September 2024. The NGA Center is pleased to support Governors on this important topic and will share updates on state team activities and progress on the Next Generation of the Healthcare Workforce project page.