Future Prepared Initiatives of Oregon and OHSU Are Intended to Improve Oregon’s Healthcare Workforce

Oregon’s Healthcare Workforce: Future Ready Oregon was established this year when Senate Bill 1545 was passed, and Jennifer Purcell, Director of the programme at the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, gave a presentation about it. The Future Ready Oregon initiative is a multi-year, multi-billion dollar plan to ensure that Oregonians have access to the quality education and skills they require to earn living wages in the state.

Pandemic disruption “revealed major inequalities in how our employment system serves historically underprivileged Oregonians and vulnerable groups,” Purcell said. These communities include minorities, those with low incomes, and those living in remote areas.

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Future Prepared Initiatives of Oregon and OHSU Are Intended to Improve Oregon’s Healthcare Workforce

Oregon’s labour and talent development system needed to be rethought with equality and racial justice in mind prior to the 2022 legislative session.

Nonprofit community organisations, educational institutions, labour organisations, and other providers of workforce services can apply to future workforce development boards for Future Ready grants.

OHSU Are Intended to Improve Oregon's Healthcare Workforce
OHSU Are Intended to Improve Oregon’s Healthcare Workforce

Registered apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and youth programmes will all benefit from the increased funding, as stated by Purcell. In the fields of healthcare, industry, and technology, in particular, “Workforce Ready Grants will specifically inform and reward collaboration in education and training pathways.”

Investments prioritise critical demographics in terms of recruiting, retention, and professional growth possibilities.

According to Dr Troy Larkin, Executive Director of Nursing Outcomes and Education at Providence Nursing Institute, a scarcity of nurses is also a problem in the state.

In his 30 years as a nurse, Larkin has never seen turnover as high as it now is. Clearly, COVID did not make this. COVID contributed to the severity of the situation.

Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) Department of Medicine Assistant Dean of Rural Medical Education Dr Paul Gorman spoke about some efforts being made by the college to strengthen the state’s healthcare workforce.

Academic preparation for medical school, professional training for medical school, and culturally relevant experiential learning are all ways in which the Wy’east Post-Baccalaureate Pathway aids American Indian and Alaska Native students in achieving their goals of becoming successful medical students and physicians.

“It recruits all throughout the country,” Gorman remarked. They offer a comprehensive package that helps students become successful future doctors and medical students. More Alaska Native and Native American students than ever before are enrolled at OHSU thanks to this program’s success.

It is a joint effort between Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), and more than 30 graduate medical education programmes at 10 healthcare systems in northern California and Oregon to create a programme called the California Oregon Medical Partnership to Address Disparities in Rural Education and Health (COMPADRE).

It was set up to deal with the issue of health disparities that arise from people not having access to adequate medical care because of a lack of doctors in urban, rural, and tribal communities.

Gorman emphasised the importance of attracting applicants from underserved, rural, and tribal communities. The [underserved] areas where we envision them working are where they receive the bulk of their training. Can we increase the number of people living in the areas we plan to work in?

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The state legislature also gave $45 million to OHSU for their 30-30-30 plan to diversify educational opportunities and alleviate healthcare workforce shortages.

According to Gorman, “the goal is to increase graduates of selected programmes by 30% and increase student diversity by at least 30% and to achieve these ends by 2030.”

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