Governor’s Task Force on the Health Care Workforce Holds April Meeting

April 26, 2024 8:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

On April 4, the Governor’s Task Force on the Health Care Workforce held a public meeting in Madison.  Lt. Governor Sara Rodriguez, a registered nurse, chairs this task force.  The intent behind this task force is to craft health care workforce recommendations that may be included in the Governor’s FY2025-2027 budget request to the Legislature.

The meeting started out with a discussion of the results of a survey that was sent to all 24 task force members, all of whom completed the survey.  The intent of this survey was to help determine the potential areas of focus for the task force. 

With respect to specific profession areas, the survey found that the task force should focus on the following (in order of priority):

  1. Behavioral Health
  2. Nurses
  3. Direct Care
  4. Allied Health
  5. Physicians
  6. Oral Health
  7. Emergency Medical Services
  8. Other

With respect to health care sectors, the survey found that the focus should be on the following (in order of priority):

  1. Behavioral Health
  2. Long term care
  3. Primary care
  4. Emergency Medical Services
  5. Oral Health
  6. Other

With respect to health care workforce improvement strategies, the survey found that the focus should be on the following areas (while they are in order of importance, these were all ranked quite close to each other – therefore, the task force views these as effectively equal):

  1. Recruitment and Retention
  2. Education and Training
  3. Regulatory Policy

Following this conversation, David Polk, who serves as the director of the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards at the state Department of Workforce Development, discussed the various health care apprenticeships that are currently offered in the state.  These apprenticeships include medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, and registered nurses.  Immediately following that presentation, Bridgett Willey, the director of Allied Health Education and Career Pathways at UW Health, described their health care apprenticeship offerings.

Next, Jessica Smith, who serves as the director of the Center for Inclusive Transition, Education, and Employment at UW Whitewater (UWW), presented on the Qualified Treatment Trainee (QTT) grant program at UWW.  A QTT is someone with a master’s degree in social work, counseling or marriage and family therapy, who wants to get a professional license for such counseling work.  These individuals perform counseling work under the guidance of a clinical supervisor.  This grant program is funded by the state Department of Health Services (DHS) and is administered by DHS, along with UWW.  Right after this presentation, Jill Baures, Psy.D., who serves as the Clinical Training Director for Pauquette Center for Psychological Services in the Madison area, discussed her agency’s experience with the QTT program.

At the end of the meeting, the upcoming task force meeting schedule was discussed:

  • May 9 – UW La Crosse
    • During this meeting, the task force will identify additional strategies and opportunities.
  • June 6 – UW Milwaukee
    • During this meeting, they will start prioritizing all strategies and opportunities.
  • July 11 – UW Green Bay
    • During this meeting, they will review a draft set of recommendations.
  • August 8 – Madison (Hill Farms State Office Building)

For further details about the task force’s April 4 meeting, you are welcome to review a more detailed summary.

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