Dr. Lorraine Ettaro leads the Center's Health Workforce Study. The purpose of the workforce project is to
- assess the impact of health professions shortages on rural communities,
- identify specific health professional shortages,
- and to recommend alternative training programs aimed at filling identified service gaps.
Once the primary care and public health professional shortages are identified in rural Pennsylvania, model training programs can be established to both train new workers and offer continuing education to existing workers in an effort to improve access to needed services and overall community safety.
It is anticipated that the workforce project will serve as a model for identifying and filling gaps in rural healthcare and the public health workforce. In addition to improving access to needed health professionals for the improvement of rural health status, such efforts will also enhance the ability of rural communities to respond to public health threats and emergencies by increasing the numbers of rural professionals trained to serve in these capacities.
This study will include rural providers, stakeholders and academic institutions across Pennsylvania. The project will involve a detailed analysis of real and perceived health professions shortages in rural counties in Pennsylvania and an assessment of public health capacities.