The Bowser Administration’s Healthcare Workforce Task Force (Task Force) aims to rebuild, strengthen, and expand the District’s healthcare workforce. The Task Force is responsible for making recommendations to the Mayor on the strategies and investments necessary to address current supply and demand challenges in the healthcare workforce.
The Task Force’s work shall focus on developing recommendations that address the current stresses in the District’s healthcare system, while specifically focusing on the following:
- Healthcare employer access to potential employees. The Task Force should examine and report on barriers and facilitators that contribute to the recruitment and retention of healthcare workers, clinical and non-clinical, and what policy changes are needed to improve the current state. The Task Force should provide a broad array of options, including enhancing or revising, existing programs and initiatives.
- District resident employment in healthcare occupations. The Task Force recommendations should consider how the District’s dual goals of decreasing unemployment among District residents and increasing the number employed in healthcare can be accomplished simultaneously. The Task Force should focus on ensuring that populations and communities experiencing the highest rates of unemployment and who are underrepresented in higher-wage healthcare occupations have a path to those roles.
- Opportunities for advancement in health careers within the District. The Task Force should consider how the existing healthcare workforce can be leveraged to address mission critical and urgent vacancies by upskilling current employees in clinical and non-clinical roles. The Task Force should consider a broad range of recommendations, including those that support continuing education and completion of degree programs that may have been voluntarily suspended due to life’s circumstances.
- Access to high-quality allied health training programs. The Task Force should make recommendations to increase the number of institutions offering a broad range of diploma and certificate programs in entry-level healthcare careers.
- Retention of health professional students post matriculation. The Task Force should examine and report on factors that determine the retention of health professional students (i.e. nursing, social work, psychology, medicine) as licensed healthcare workers in the District and make policy recommendations accordingly.
- A health careers pipeline strategy. The Task Force should make recommendations to establish a health careers pipeline strategy designed to increase the number of District of Columbia middle and high school students who choose careers in health-related fields. The Task Force should examine existing initiatives and make recommendations for alignment, where feasible, as well as recommendations to fill any identified gaps in the pipeline.