October 2020 Update

October Update – Highlights:

  • NEW webinars – October 21 and November 17: Two new webinars coming this fall will focus on key priorities of the California Future Health Workforce Commission. Register now for a discussion on improving frontline health worker safety and support (October 21) and what’s next for health workforce after the election (November 17).
  • Major legislative progress on health workforce! Governor Newsom signed several bills this week to strengthen California’s health workforce, including legislation that reduces restrictions on nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives, promotes adoption of community paramedicine programs, and establishes a new certification system for peer support specialists. 
  • OSPHD grants promote mental health workforce: The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development has awarded $17.3 million in grants to expand the pipeline of public mental health professionals in California. A Commission fact sheet this summer highlighted how Workforce Education and Training program funds could be spent to alleviate the state’s growing shortage of psychiatrists.
  • New program office established on Graduate Medical Education: The California Health Care Foundation announced that it has funded a two-year Transitional GME Program Office for California, led by Mathematica’s Diane Rittenhouse, which will seek to accelerate GME expansion and address physician shortages in underserved communities.

NEW webinars – October 21 and November 17

Two new webinars this fall will highlight the next steps needed to support frontline health workers during COVID-19—and address ongoing health workforce gaps after the pandemic.
ICYMI – Thank you again to the panelists who made our September 25 public health workforce webinar a success! Click here for a summary and recording of the event.
Register now for our next two webinars! Details below.

Ensuring Frontline Essential Health Worker Safety and Support
When: Wednesday, October 21, 8:45am – 10:00am
What: Given the lengthy fight still ahead on the pandemic, what can the state do to protect frontline workers, prevent burnout, and address emerging workforce shortages?

  • Judy Belk, CEO, President and CEO, The California Wellness Foundation (Opening Remarks)
  • Rishi Manchanda, MD, MPH, President and CEO, HealthBegins (Facilitator)
  • Dave Duncan, MD, Director, California Emergency Medical Services Authority
  • Connie M. Leyva, Senator, California State Legislature
  • Stephen Parodi, MD, Executive Vice President External Affairs, Communications, and Brand, The Permanente Foundation and Associate Executive Director, The Permanente Medical Group
  • Brandi Wolf, Policy Director, SEIU

California Health Workforce Thought Leaders: After the Election, Where Do We Go From Here?
When: Tuesday, November 17, 8:45am – 10:00am
What: With the election behind us, what can the public, private, and philanthropic sectors do in 2021 to strengthen California’s health workforce—given the ongoing pandemic, persistent health inequities, and a struggling economy?

  • Philanthropy: Sandra R. Hernández, MD, President & CEO, California Health Care Foundation (Opening Remarks/Facilitator)
  • Private sector: Thomas M. Priselac, MPH, President and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System
  • Legislature: Jim Wood, Assembly Member and Chair, Assembly Health Committee, California State Legislature
  • Newsom Administration: Marko Mijic, Acting Director, OSHPD; Deputy Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency
  • Education: Michael V. Drake, MD, President, University of California

Major legislative progress on health workforce

Governor Newsom signed several bills this week to strengthen California’s health workforce, including the legislation below. The state budget passed this summer also includes significant, ongoing investments in the health workforce.
Scope of practice

  • AB 890 (Wood): Authorizes a nurse practitioner (NP) to provide specified services without physician supervision if the NP meets additional education, examination, and training requirements.
  • SB 1237 (Dodd): Removes the requirement for a certified nurse midwife (CNM) to practice midwifery according to standardized procedures or protocols with a physician; revises the provisions defining the practice of midwifery; authorizes a CNM to attend cases out of a hospital setting; authorizes a CNM to furnish or order drugs or devices in accordance with standardized protocols with a physician.

Workforce needs

  • AB 1544 (Gipson, Gloria): Permits local emergency medical services agencies (LEMSAs), with approval by the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), to develop programs to provide community paramedic (CP) or triage to alternate destination (TAD) services.
  • AB 2288 (Low): Authorizes the director of an approved nursing program, during a state of emergency, to make requests to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) for the following: 1) use a clinical setting without meeting specified requirements; 2) use preceptorships without having to maintain specified written policies; 3) use clinical simulation up to 50% for medical-surgical and geriatric courses; 4) use clinical simulation up to 75% for psychiatric-mental health nursing, obstetrics, and pediatrics courses; and 5) waive concurrency of theory and clinical by one academic term.
  • SB 275 (Pan): Requires the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile for health care workers and essential workers in the state and requires health care employers, as specified, to establish a PPE inventory that is sufficient for at least 45 days of surge consumption.
  • SB 803 (Beall): Requires the Department of Health Services to establish a Medi-Cal demonstration or pilot project for certifying peer support specialists.

OSPHD grants promote mental health workforce

OSHPD has announced the award of $17.3 million in grants through the WET program to further build California’s pipeline of public mental health professionals. A Commission fact sheet released this summer, authored by UCSF’s Janet Coffman, made the case for using WET dollars address the state’s growing shortage of mental health practitioners in the public mental health system.
The OSPHD grants largely follow the Commission’s recommendation: Grantees will add 36 Psychiatry Residency slots and fund 336 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner slots to their training programs. The funding will also help launch a new Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship program.
“I’m pleased to see that OSHPD has awarded $17.3 million for psychiatry residency programs and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs,” said Janet Coffman, professor of health policy at the University of California-San Francisco. “This investment is a critical first step toward meeting California’s need for behavioral health professionals who are trained to prescribe medications as well as other forms of treatment for behavioral health conditions.”

New program office established on Graduate Medical Education

CHCF announced in September that it has funded a two-year Transitional GME Program Office for California, led by Senior Fellow Diane Rittenhouse, MD, MPH, of the research and policy organization Mathematica, and guided by an advisory board (PDF) of GME experts and leaders.
This project builds on the Commission’s recommended expansion of GME education to address the shortage of California-trained physicians, especially in underserved regions of the state. The transitional program office will:

  • Provide interim leadership
  • Coordinate with GME experts and leaders at the state and national level
  • Create a permanent GME governance council
  • Produce resources, such as toolkits, case studies, and small grants, for hospitals exploring the feasibility of establishing new residency programs