Kentucky Healthcare Workforce Collaborative
According to state officials, Kentucky is operating at 12 percent to 20 percent short of needed nursing staff, and the state is projected to need more than 16,000 additional nurses by 2024. Shortages such as this, coupled with the high prevalence of Kentucky residents with multiple chronic conditions, make it a state imperative to improve and expand the state's cadre of frontline health care professionals.
However, Kentucky's colleges and universities are facing several challenges to address these gaps.
- Shortages of nursing and other health care faculty due to lack of competitive pay.
- Limited access to clinical sites for students.
- A lack of modern training equipment and supplies.
- Few mental health and social support services for students in these highly competitive programs.
How the Collaborative Will Help
Kentucky's Healthcare Workforce Collaborative (HWC) is a $10 million initiative funded by the legislature to bring together state leaders, policy experts, campus leadership and the health care industry to solve Kentucky's health care crisis.
The appropriation, designated in the 2022 budget bill and to be administered by the Council, will serve several purposes:
- Providing direct grants to Kentucky's public institutions.
- Funding administrative, research, consulting, planning and analysis costs for an advisory group.
- Raising student awareness of and interest in healthcare occupations.
- Improving pathways between high school career and technical programs to college-level health care programs.
- Helping health care organizations support career growth and development for their employees.
The HWC, made up of CPE staff, policy experts, state leaders and representatives from the campuses and health care industry, guides distribution of the funds. To gauge the initiative's success, each year the Council will provide a comprehensive report to state leaders by Dec. 1 each year. The fund, in future, may receive additional state appropriations, grants, gifts, federal funds or any other public or private funds.
Healthcare Workforce Investment Fund
Kentucky, along with other states, recognized healthcare workforce shortages during the 2023 legislative session in part by establishing the Kentucky Healthcare Workforce Investment Fund, which is a public-private partnership to provide healthcare training scholarships for Kentucky resident students and incentives to reward performance and excellence among healthcare professional programs.
- The fund, administered by CPE, is designed to improve financial support for students who enroll in targeted programs leading to healthcare credentials in areas demonstrating critical workforce need.
- The fund rewards performance and excellence among Kentucky healthcare professional education and training programs.
- The fund may accept donations, with all monies gifted or donated to the fund to be matched, dollar for dollar, by General Fund disbursements for scholarships and/or educational program incentives.
- The fund will prioritize grants by geographic areas of Kentucky with the greatest workforce need and will strive to improve racial and ethnic diversity within healthcare fields.
- The fund allows grantors to restrict funding for scholarships for qualified students who are Kentucky residents.
Guiding Legislation and Documentation
Healthcare Workforce Collaborative
- Kentucky 2022-23 budget bill (22 RS HB 1) - See page 124
- Healthcare Workforce Collaborative overview document
- Frequently asked questions about the grants
Healthcare Workforce Investment Fund
- HB 200: The Healthcare Workforce Investment Fund
- Healthcare Workforce Investment Fund overview document
HWC Advisory Group
To increase success of the HWC's efforts, the Council convenes an HWC Advisory Group. This group, consisting of college faculty, state leaders and members of the health care sector, will devise short-term and long-term strategies to strengthen the workforce pipeline. Beyond facilitating important conversations between campuses and the health care industry, the HWC Advisory Group also reviews the effectiveness of current campus- and state-level programs to assist HWC decision-making.
- Hollie Harris Phillips, Appalachian Regional Healthcare
- Jody Prather. Baptist Health
- Tony Houston, Catholic Health Initiatives/St. Joseph Health
- Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth Healthcare
- Ken Marshall, UofL Health
- Mark Newman, UK Healthcare
- Daniel Czech, Eastern Kentucky University
- Paul Czarapata, KCTCS
- Joy Coles, Kentucky State University
- Jay Morgan, Morehead State University
- Bob Jackson, Murray State University
- Valerie Hardcastle, Northern Kentucky University
- Robert DiPaola, University of Kentucky
- Lori Stewart-Gonzalez, University of Louisville
- Tania Basta, Western Kentucky University
- Burton Webb, University of Pikeville
- Vestena Robbins, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
- Derrick Ramsey, citizen member
- Aaron Thompson, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
- Beth Brinly, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
- Jason Glass, Kentucky Department of Education
Last Updated: 5/5/2023