Health Department Gets Workforce Grant for Recruitment, Retention

A study of insured and uninsured Americans showed that those without health insurance get sicker as they age until they turn 65 and qualify for Medicare, Friday, Dec. 28, 2007. But they're not likely to become as healthy as someone who had health insurance all along. (AP / CBS)

The Virginia Department of Health has been awarded a State Health Workforce Development Implementation grant in the amount of $1.93 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Virginia is the only state in the nation to receive this grant, which will be used to implement and administer the new Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority and to make available funds for regional health workforce planning and implementation efforts.

The mission of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority is to facilitate the development of a statewide health professions "workforce pipeline" that identifies, educates, recruits, and retains a diverse and culturally competent quality health care workforce for all Virginians.

“The statewide demand for health care services is projected to increase, particularly as the number of adults over 65 years of age is forecast to grow by 65 percent over the next two decades,” says Virginia Department of Health Commissioner Karen Remley, M.D., MBA, FAAP. “This grant will help us recruit and retain health care providers to address the growing health care needs of all Virginians.”

The VDH Office of Minority Health and Health Equity led the effort in developing this grant proposal, bringing together partners from and leveraging the resources of multiple private and public entities, including the Virginia Department of Health Professions, Virginia Workforce Council, Virginia Health Care Foundation, Virginia Area Health Education Centers, Virginia Community Health Care Association, and Virginia Academy of Family Physicians.

"As the agency that licenses Virginia's more than 350,000 health care workers in some 80 professions, the Department of Health Professions looks forward to this collaborative effort to addressing the Commonwealth’s current and future health workforce challenges,” says the director of the Department of Health Professions, Dianne L. Reynolds-Cane, M.D.