Health Care Workforce Initiatives - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Health Care Workforce Initiatives

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For more information about this program please contact:

Ronisha Edwards-Elliot
Director, Chicago AHEC and Workforce Programs

Anna Yankelev
Director of Strategic Workforce Initiatives

Karol Dean
Program Director, Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship

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Health Care Workforce Initiatives

  • Overview


In our work to improve the health of all people in Illinois, Health & Medicine recognizes that developing a robust, highly-trained, and culturally-competent health care workforce is central to achieving our mission. Our decades of leadership promoting the development of workforce policies and strengthening the health careers pipeline have made Health & Medicine Illinois’ leading health workforce research and policy organization. Our efforts focus on shaping and expanding current policy while also developing the next generation of health care providers:

Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
Complementing our policy work, Health & Medicine administers the Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC), part of a national network that works to develop, train, and retain a diverse healthcare workforce. Chicago AHEC inspires Chicago high school students and community college students to enter the health professions by providing them with mentoring, job shadowing and other career development opportunities and connecting them with a Speakers Bureau comprised of underrepresented health professionals, reaching over 1,500 students last year.

Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program
The Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program provides a platform for health professions graduate students to design and implement projects that improve the health of underserved populations in Chicago. Each year, 30 exceptional Fellows provide 200 hours of service, promoting their development as leaders in public service and helping to foster a workforce committed to serving the communities that need them most.

Community Health Workers
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are an important health care workforce helping residents—often in underserved communities—manage chronic conditions, develop healthier lifestyles, and gain access to care. Health & Medicine has a long-standing commitment to the CHW model and has been a key player in the formation of CHW legislation at the state level, as well as supporting various CHW initiatives and collaborations. Today, we are excited to serve as the key convener developing a CHW learning collaborative in the Western Suburbs.

Equity Intern Program
In 2018, Health & Medicine created an Internship Equity Committee charged with developing a new model for internships, called the Equity Intern Program, in which unpaid intern labor is replaced with a paid internship model, and for which we established a “one door” application process so that opportunities are not limited to the well-connected. Providing paid internships is an important step toward creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive workforce.

Public Health Workforce Collaborative
Health & Medicine is the convener of the Public Health Workforce Collaborative (PHWC) – a collective of employers who are committed to building an independent policy center that conducts research, educates, and collaborates with other groups to advocate policies and impact health systems to improve the health status of all people.