Improving Access to Healthcare Workforce Education

Improving the Lives of Vulnerable New Yorkers Through Expanded Access to Healthcare Workforce Education

Well-staffed and trained employees in hospitals, homecare facilities, community organizations, and social service agencies are critical to providing for the health needs of New Yorkers. Yet, as a result of healthcare workforce recruitment and retention challenges, New York alone is estimated to have 1.1 million job openings for direct care by 2029, and a shortage of nearly 39,000 registered nurses by 2030. In response to this crisis, Governor Hochul announced a goal to grow New York’s healthcare workforce by 20 percent over the next five years.

To help expand the healthcare worker pipeline and enable New York to grow its workforce, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation provided grants to organizations creating education opportunities for healthcare professionals.

Dennis Johnson (front center), Mother Cabrini Health Foundation’s Managing Director of Strategy and Evaluation, attending an end-of-year ceremony at the Silberman School of Social Work.

One such grantee is Hunter College, which has been supporting and uplifting New York’s most underserved communities since 1870. With a $1 million grant from the Foundation, Hunter College created the Cabrini-Hunter Fellowship for Social Work. The fellowship provides 30 social work and nursing students with financial support as well as training on interprofessional team-based practices, allowing them to better improve health services, community health, mental health, substance abuse prevention, and behavioral health in underserved neighborhoods. These students will soon be on the front lines of helping New York shape healthier, equitable communities.

In Upstate New York, the Iroquois Healthcare Association (IHA) is a nonprofit organization that  represents more than 50 hospitals and health systems, supporting its members and statewide communities through education, information, advocacy, and business solutions. IHA is a critical member of our statewide healthcare collaborative that recently released its Workforce Summit Summary report. The report outlines challenges and innovative solutions to encourage collaboration and foster sustainable change for the healthcare industry, including improving education and training opportunities. With Foundation’s support, IHA also created webinar trainings for healthcare professionals during the pandemic and continues to provide remote programming. 

As the pandemic deepened health-related needs across New York, it also shined a light on the essential role that healthcare workers play in underserved communities where health disparities are most acute. Community-oriented programs like those through Hunter College and IHA are paving the way for continued the growth and career paths of healthcare professionals to ensure organizations across the state are given resources they need to continue delivering care to underserved New Yorkers.

To learn more about the Cabrini-Hunter Fellowship, visit here, and to learn more about the Iroquois Healthcare Association, visit their website here