Northern Virginia Higher Education and Health Care Institutions Meet to Pledge Support of NoVaHealthFORCE Initiatives
Leaders to Collaborate to Address Health Care Workforce Shortage Crisis
Northern Virginia, December 1, 2005 – For the first time ever Presidents from colleges and universities and health care institutions serving Northern Virginia met today at a special summit, sponsored by NoVaHealthFORCE, to commit to establishing a long-term strategy to address the critical shortage of health care professionals in Northern Virginia. According to a 2005 PricewaterhouseCoopers study commissioned by NoVaHealthFORCE, the region is facing a shortage of qualified health care professionals that will increase dramatically to more than 16,000 unfilled positions by 2020, just as the aging population and the region’s ongoing population growth are placing greater demands on the health care system.
Presidents from Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, Shenandoah University, Old Dominion University, Marymount University, Inova Health System, Virginia Hospital Center, Potomac Hospital Center and Prince William Health System pledged the support of their respective organizations.
The Presidents’ agreed that if left unattended, this crisis will result in significant negative consequences, limited not only to health care, but also severely compromising the economic competitiveness of the community as a whole. The scarcity of nursing and allied health care workers will increase costs for businesses and individuals and negatively impact the region’s economic infrastructure and quality of life and quality of care in the community. It was determined that all components of the community must be rallied to solve this regional crisis. This includes, but is not limited to: health care institutions, educational institutions, local businesses, schools (K-12), local, county, state, and federal governments, social service agencies, civic organizations, economic development authorities, philanthropic organizations, and the technology industry.
Specifically, the Presidents’ pledged to establish a long-term strategy that will address the regional training capacity of nursing and allied health care workers. Specifically to double the number of RN graduates from 400 to 800 RN graduates annually by 2009 and increase by 50% the number of allied health graduates in select fields by 2009. They also agreed to the alignment and resource commitment of their respective health care and educational institutions in order to accomplish the actions necessary to address the health care workforce shortage crisis in accordance with NoVaHealthFORCE’s three broad goals:
- Increase capacity within the health care education and training system;
- Develop and sustain an ongoing supply of persons interested in health care careers; and,
- Nurture innovation, specifically in health information technology.
“It is imperative that all parts of our community work together to solve Northern Virginia’s health care workforce shortage” said Robert Templin, president of Northern Virginia Community College and chairman of NoVaHealthFORCE. “NoVaHealthFORCE is very gratified to have the support of these vital community institutions to initiate steps to rectify this crisis.”
The NoVaHealthFORCE alliance is a coalition of private sector, business, government, community, health care and educational leaders established to address the Northern Virginia health care workforce shortage. The mission of the alliance is to: Establish a long-term, business-driven, sustainable strategy to address the Northern Virginia health care workforce shortage. To learn more, to download the PricewaterhouseCoopers study, or to see how you can help, please visit www.NoVaHealthFORCE.org