The California Future Health Workforce Commission released a set of final recommendations in February 2019 aimed at improving the ability of California’s health workforce to meet the changing needs of the state’s diverse population.
The Commission was composed of a statewide group of senior leaders across multiple sectors, including health, education, employment, labor, and government. It was co-chaired by University of California President Janet Napolitano and Dignity Health President and CEO Lloyd Dean. 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, the California Health Care Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
In recent years, California has shown great leadership in improving health care, expanding coverage, and fostering delivery model innovation. These efforts have fueled material growth in the health economy and enabled providers to improve population health. But progress has been hampered by a mismatch between the health workforce of today and the workforce that will be needed to meet the needs of a changing population.
To successfully deliver care in the future, California must find ways to recruit, educate, and sustain a more diverse health workforce—skilled in working collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams, technically competent, and adept at using modern health information technology. Improving the health of the state’s changing population will also require new roles and expertise, such as skills in assessing and addressing social factors that impact health, knowledge of effective prevention strategies, and the ability to communicate to an increasingly diverse state population.
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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.”