Across the nation, communities are struggling with extreme shortages in nurses, primary care physicians and other allied health professionals. Our state struggled to staff hospitals and clinics before the pandemic, and the prolonged strain of treating COVID-19 is driving large numbers of exhausted workers out of their professions. For example, the governor’s office estimates that Louisiana is short as many as 6,000 nurses, a number that is only expected to grow.
These painful statistics also only describe part of the problem, of course. We know that many parts of our state face shortages of dentists, mental health providers and other essential health professionals to meet people’s needs.
That’s why we began our work with partners across the state to address the major gaps in Louisiana’s healthcare workforce. Two years ago, we issued a specific Request for Proposals for grants to recruit and ease pipelines for training and certifying healthcare professional across Louisiana.
Nonprofits and coalitions like the Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Alliance have been producing exciting programs that are being recognized as models for how to train and employ more qualified health professionals. Even though we are beginning to progress, we know we have so much farther to go.
This September, instead of an annual convening, we are hosting a Healthcare Workforce Summit Series – four one-hour presentations with local and national experts.
I’m inviting you to be a part of this conversation – to learn the best practices that are working, to generate new ideas, and to meet partners with whom you and your organization might partner to address these gaps.
What will you learn?
- Overview of Louisiana’s healthcare workforce challenges
- Federal, state and private funding sources for developing programs
- The pipeline of training: early exposure, higher education and licensing
- Success stories, best practices and models from Louisiana organizations and coalitions addressing needs in the healthcare workforce
- Opportunities for innovation
Who should attend?
As you will hear from our presenters, the ecosystem of recruiting, training and educating the next generation of healthcare professionals intersects with so many fields – including some you might not expect:
- Arts and arts education
- Career placement and development
- Children and youth services
- Economic development
- Education and literacy
- Emergency and safety
- Employment and job education
- Health, medicine and wellness
- Higher education
- Homelessness, housing and wrap-around services
- Mental health
- Senior services
- Social justice and equity
- Veterans services
This list is just an illustration, but shows some of the many kind of professionals working together to tackle this problem. If you work in any of the industries above or are just interested in this topic, you are invited to participate.
How to participate:
We encourage you to register via Eventbrite to interact with presenters, to take part in follow up resource sharing and to engage around next steps. We will also stream each session on the Foundation’s Facebook page for those who might just want to watch live or engage after the fact.
This shortage of healthcare human capital will become one of the most devastating gaps in our healthcare system without the participation and intervention of our entire state. So, whether you come from a healthcare, workforce, education or other background, these issues impact all of us. I hope you’ll join us as we chart a way forward to a healthier tomorrow for our state.
President, BCBSLA Foundation
Head of Community Relations
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