On May 22, 2018, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to discuss “the growing shortage of health care professionals in rural areas, and examine what the federal government is doing to mitigate this widening gap.” While the hearing focused on medical professions, themes emerged which contained strong parallels to the I/DD workforce crisis. Notably:
The workforce shortage is sharper in rural areas, where fewer professionals live and train. This is further accentuated by the lower availability of “auxiliary factors,” such as daycare.
Burnout due to “administrative burdens” is a major problem.
Professionals need to receive more specialized training.
Online systems have the potential to extend training over wide areas where academic institutions might not be physically present.
The I/DD workforce crisis is one of ANCOR’s top priority issues, to which we devoted an in-depth white paper in 2017. In 2018, we are proactively developing workforce proposals with which to engage Congress. Stay tuned for more information on those in the near future!
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