In recent years, California has shown great leadership in improving care, expanding coverage, and fostering delivery model innovation. These efforts have fueled material growth in the health economy and enabled providers to take steps to improve population health. But progress been hampered by a mismatch between the health workforce of today and the workforce required to fully deploy the health care delivery system of tomorrow.
To successfully deliver care in the future, California will need to recruit, educate, and sustain a diverse health and health care workforce that is skilled in working collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams, is technically competent, and is adept at using modern health information technology. In addition, a workforce committed to improving population health will require new roles and expertise, such as skills in assessing and addressing social determinants of health, knowledge of effective prevention strategies, and the ability to communicate to an increasingly diverse state population.
The California Future Health Workforce Commission was created to help the state close the gap between the health workforce we have and the workforce we need. The Commission is composed of recognized senior leaders who represent California’s diversity and bring expertise from health, education, employment, labor, and government sectors. Staffing for the Commission comes from the Public Health Institute with support from California’s leading health philanthropies, including The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, and California Health Care Foundation.
Commissioners will work together in 2017 and 2018 to develop a strategic plan for building the health workforce to meet California’s future needs. This plan will include a set of practical short, medium, and longer-term solutions that could be adopted and implemented by the state, educational institutions, employers, and other stakeholders to address current and future gaps in the health workforce. The Commission will also develop a plan for a structure, resources, and process for effective plan implementation.
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For more background on why the Commission was formed and its focus, read “Toward a Strategic Plan for California’s Health Workforce.”