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Health Reform Bills Still Lack Strategic Focus on Health Workforce
Date:10/7/2009

AAHC Calls for National Entity to Address Workforce

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Academic health center CEOs told congressional staff and representatives of national health care organizations at a congressional briefing that pending health reform legislation does not yet reflect the strategic emphasis on health workforce needed to implement successful health system reform. "Pending bills include numerous important workforce-related provisions, but they lack sufficient means to effectively coordinate workforce policy among federal, state, and private laws, regulations, and standards," said Dr. Steven A. Wartman, President and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC).

Dr. Wartman was joined in the panel discussion by: Dr. Nancy Dickey, President, Texas A&M Health Science Center, and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Texas A&M University System, immediate past AAHC Board Chair; Dr. Philip A. Pizzo, Dean, School of Medicine at Stanford University, and AAHC Board Chair; and Dr. M. Roy Wilson, Chancellor, University of Colorado Denver, and AAHC Board member.

Dr. Wilson told the group that the nation must have a national agenda for the workforce. Without such an effort, federal, state and local governments and agencies will continue to work in isolated silos as they attempt to solve workforce issues.

Dr. Dickey emphasized that health workforce reform has to start today so the nation can build a viable infrastructure and rationalize our health workforce policy. With a permanent national workforce planning body, the nation can address the full range of workforce issues -- from shortages and geographic disparities, to regulatory and policy conflicts that prevent health professionals from practicing to the full extent of their training, to the paucity of reliable data on the workforce -- in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

Dr. Pizzo cautioned that when po
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SOURCE Association of Academic Health Centers
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