AHEC hosts Health Workforce Job Fair, Summit September 6

By Elizabeth Simon
Registration is now underway for the 2014 Hawaiʻi Health Workforce Summit: Building the Future.

Presented by The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) on September 6, from 8:45 AM – 5:00 PM at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikīkī, the free summit provides participants a unique opportunity to share new information and research related to training programs and workforce strategies that aim to improve diversity, retention and capacity within Hawai’i’s healthcare professions.

Qualified healthcare professionals will receive eight hours of Continuing Medical Education or CME for attending the summit, which is designed to cover the following topics: healthcare reform, patient centered medical homes, workflow redesign, new practice models, inter-professional team practice, telemedicine, career transition, health careers pathway resources and preceptor training.

Several planned discussions at this year’s summit will focus on healthcare reform and its impact in Hawaiʻi and across the nation.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is spurring the need to expand types of training for an increased number of healthcare employees and to develop new business models for providers. These fundamental changes, aimed at improving the quality of care, will be major theme of the meeting.

“This summit encourages students and professionals in healthcare to successfully deal with many new challenges through innovative partnerships that will yield both happier practice environments and better health outcomes for Hawaiʻi’s people,” said Dr. Kelley Withy, AHEC Director at the University of Hawai`i medical school.

Summit to examine looming workforce shortage in healthcare professions

Related to the impacts of healthcare reform, the summit will present the latest AHEC research pertaining to Hawaiʻiʻs looming workforce shortage in healthcare professions.  This year’s summit will include outreach to people interested in entering healthcare professions.

A healthcare job fair will feature 20 exhibitors and booths representing at least 10 healthcare job specialties. Summit organizers also expect to unveil plans for a comprehensive healthcare jobs directory for use by school guidance counselors, teachers, students and parents.

Summit organizers stress the importance of reaching out to students in order to attract qualified individuals into Hawaiʻi’s healthcare industry. Hawaiʻi jobs in healthcare are expected to increase, according forecasts from the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Experts say expansion healthcare employment is driven in Hawaiʻi and elsewhere by a number of factors including healthcare reform, new technologies, and a rise in the numbers of elderly people. While the prognosis for employment expansion in healthcare comes as good news for job-seekers, it also means that Hawaiʻi must take steps now to ensure that an ample pool of professionals are well-trained and attuned to address the unique medical needs of Hawaiʻi’s diverse population, especially in low-income and rural areas.

“Low-income Hawaiʻi groups and people in rural areas are likely to have the most healthcare needs in the state, and yet these same groups are woefully underrepresented in healthcare professions.  We want to remedy this by increasing the number of providers who are from the populations that they serve. A key step is to invite students of all ages to visit the job fair at the summit,” said AHEC’s Dr. Withy.

Registration Information

The summit is free for healthcare providers. Same-day airline and ground travel arrangements are available, if requested by August 20. Space is limited and registration is taken on a first-come, first-served basis. For information and registration, go the AHEC website: AHEC.

Or click HERE.

Hawaiʻi/Pacific Basin AHEC aims to improve the health of the underserved through education. Areas of activity include:

  • Educating and recruiting K-12 students to health professions
  • Educating health professions students in the rural and underserved communities of Hawaiʻi
  • Recruiting health care professionals to rural and underserved areas and providing continuing education
  • Providing community based and community driven education for all underserved groups in Hawaiʻi

Pictured: Dr. Kelley Withy addresses the 2012 Health Workforce Summit.

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