Mission: To advance the development of a high-quality health care workforce in order to improve the health of every Oregonian.
Oregon is facing a major health care workforce shortage. The growth and aging of our population contribute to this crisis, creating the need for an estimated 76,000 additional health care workers (replacement and growth openings) by 2020.* The challenging task of improving and developing the health care workforce reaches far and wide into data collection, educational and provider institutions, public policy, diversity, retention and a myriad of other factors.
OHWI exists to coordinate and advance a comprehensive statewide response to the growing health care workforce shortage. Developed out of an initiative from the Governor's office and sustained by dedicated health care professionals from the public and private sectors, OHWI was incorporated as a nonprofit institute in December 2005 and officially launched in April 2006.
In 2007, OHWI was recognized by the Oregon State Legislature as a leader in addressing Oregon’s health care workforce shortage and designated as a workforce advisory entity to state agencies. In 2009, OHWI became the home of the Portland Metro Area Health Education Center (AHEC), a program to improve the education, training and distribution of health care professionals in Oregon. OHWI collaborates with the state’s program office and fellow Oregon AHECs by fulfilling data requests, conducting program evaluations and addressing barriers to health care workforce quality and growth.
OHWI's focus includes accurate supply and demand data, educational program and clinical expansion, development of public policy and connection of interested parties for problem solving, funding and information sharing. Currently, OHWI is focused on three initiatives:
- Build the workforce to ensure access to high quality health care.
- Build the workforce to support emerging models of health care delivery.
- Build Oregon’s health information technology and informatics workforce in support of state and federal health reform efforts.
*Oregon Employment Department (2011). Employment Projections by Industry and Occupation 2010-2020.
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