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Ryan White @ AIDS 2012: Workforce Ideas

July 25, 2012


Health Care Work Force Crisis

U.S. funding for the global HIV/AIDS epidemic started over a decade ago—first under early initiatives and then with large-scale PEPFAR support. As funds traveled overseas, the trip was never made alone. People and ideas were shared with countries and community agencies—on clinical training, quality, data, and many other topics. Many of the best practices and tools were developed by the Ryan White Community under HRSA funding. PCAT became ClASS. AETCs set the mold for I-TECH. CAREWare went International. 

A Common Challenge

There may be signs that insights and best practices are ready to make a return trip to the U.S.—specifically on dealing with the worldwide dilemma of shortages in the health care workforce. Healthcare Workforce: Who Cares and Where? (TUBS04) reviewed ideas like task sharing (e.g., nurses as prescribers), job training, and retention techniques (e.g., fast-track promotion opportunities, part-time employment of retired staff). Similar ideas for an expanded role for nurses were shared in PEPFAR Pre-Service Training: The Medical and Nursing Education Partnership Initiatives (TUSA03), co-chaired by HRSA HAB’s Dr. Parham Hopson, which featured PEPFAR training work under the uniquely-named MEPI and NEPI.

HRSA has been tackling the topic of the shrinking health workforce for a number of years. A 2008 HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau consultation meeting, HIV/AIDS Workforce Meeting: Setting an Agenda for Action, zeroed in on some of these same challenges—and ways to respond. In the U.S., the Ryan White AETC Program continues to focus on expanding the pool of qualified HIV practitioners. AETCs conducted 150,000 trainings each year for 2008 and 2009.

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