California Future Health Workforce Commission Issues Final Report

The California Future Health Workforce Commission this week released its final report, detailing a series of recommendations to create and sustain the health workforce needed to meet current and future demands throughout the state. The Commission assesses the current state of California’s health workforce, finding a looming crisis in which provider shortages, workforce mismatches, and an increasingly growing, aging, and diverse population poses a threat to the wellbeing of the state.

The Commission’s final report includes a set of 27 detailed recommendations within three key strategies that will be necessary for: 1) increasing opportunities for all Californians to advance in the health professions, 2) aligning and expanding education and training, and 3) strengthening the capacity, retention, and effectiveness of health workers. The report also recommends establishing a statewide infrastructure, starting in 2019, to implement the recommendations in partnership with stakeholders, to monitor progress, and adjust as needs and resources change.

With an eye toward 2030, the Commission highlights 10 priority recommendations for immediate action and implementation. Among those actions are:

  • Expand and scale pipeline programs to recruit and prepare students from underrepresented and low-income backgrounds for health careers
  • Expand the number of primary care physician and psychiatry residency positions
  • Maximize the role of nurse practitioners as part of the care team to help fill gaps in primary care
  • Establish and scale a universal home care worker family of jobs with career ladders and associated training
  • Scale the engagement of community health workers, promotores, and peer providers through certification, training, and reimbursement

The California Future Health Workforce Commission was created in 2017 by a group of health philanthropies and is co-chaired by University of California President Janet Napolitano and Dignity Health President and CEO Lloyd Dean. The full report is available here.