HHS releases new Health Workforce Strategic Plan
Read the recently released HHS Health Workforce Strategic Plan (PDF - 779 KB). The plan provides a forward-looking framework for health workforce improvements, focused on four key goals:
- Expanding supply,
- Ensuring equitable distribution,
- Improving quality, and
- Enhancing the use of data and evidence to improve program outcomes.
HHS also released a Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Health Workforce Strategic Plan (PDF - 582 KB).
HHS consulted with the National Advisory Committees to prepare this strategic plan. Explore their input (PDF - 156 KB).
The Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) improves the health of people who need it most. We strengthen the health workforce and connect skilled health care providers to communities in need.
What are your aims?
- ACCESS: Make it easier for people to access health care.
- SUPPLY: Balance the supply of health workers with the demand for care.
- DISTRIBUTION: Improve distribution of the health workforce.
- QUALITY: Improve the quality of the health workforce and the care they provide.
What programs do you offer?
We offer scholarship, loan, and loan repayment programs to individuals and award grants to organizations (For example, schools, hospitals, health departments).
Our nursing programs advance health equity by ensuring that all communities have access to high-quality and culturally competent medical care.
Our healthcare clinician programs help connect skilled healthcare providers to communities in need.
To which programs can individuals apply?
Individuals can apply to these scholarship and loan repayment programs.
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
- Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
- Nurse Corps Scholarship Program
- Faculty Loan Repayment Program
- Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program
To which programs can schools apply?
Schools can apply to these scholarship and loan programs.
- Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS)
- Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
- Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)
- Nursing Student Loans (NSL)
- Primary Care Loans (PCL)
How do your programs help communities in need?
Our programs help communities recruit and retain primary health care providers.
- NHSC Builds Healthy Communities: 2020 (PDF - 522 KB)
- The Growth of the Nurse Corps Workforce in Rural and Underserved Communities
How do you train the health workforce?
We train the primary care workforce through our Health Professions Training Grants.
- invite clinicians to practice in areas with limited access to care, including rural areas;
- increase diversity; and
- encourage health care workers to learn from each other.
Our grant programs help create a modern health workforce. They place skilled health care providers in high-need areas nationwide.
How do your partners help?
Our strategic partnerships help us make decisions on policy and program planning.
Which communities need your programs the most?
Certain areas, people, or facilities need health care workers. We call these shortage designations. These include Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/Ps).
HPSAs and MUA/Ps help
- focus our resources on the highest need places and people; and
- federal agencies decide who is eligible for federal programs.
Which federal programs use HPSAs and MUA/Ps?
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
- Nurse Corps
- Health Center Program
- Rural Health Clinic Program
- Physician HPSA Bonuses
- Exchange Visitor
- Conrad 30 Waiver
How does data inform your work?
Our National Center for Health Workforce Analysis collects and evaluates health workforce data.
They examine issues affecting the U.S. health workforce. Their research helps people who create laws make informed decisions.
How do you promote health care quality?
The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) allows registered health care entities to search for reports. These reports contain medical malpractice payments, adverse actions, and judgments or convictions of health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers.
Providing these reports helps improve health care quality, protects the public, and reduces fraud and abuse in the U.S. health care system.