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Arizona Healthcare Leaders Collaborate To Address Workforce Needs

2nd Annual Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit Facilitates Connections And Solutions
Posted on April 17, 2024 • Category: News Release

PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 10, 2024) — Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to bringing Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for the state, recently hosted the 2nd Annual Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit in collaboration with the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, Banner Plans & Network, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, and Pipeline AZ.  


About 150 healthcare workforce and education leaders from across the state attended the two-day gathering held April 4-5 at ASU Skysong in Scottsdale, Ariz. It created an opportunity for knowledge sharing among experts, facilitated panel discussions that provided updates on statewide projects and initiatives, and included focused sessions designed to tackle workforce partnerships, nursing readiness and retention, and community and home-based care. 


The summit was held as an influx of funding is earmarked to address healthcare challenges and as data indicates the potential for a looming healthcare workforce crisis in Arizona, with the state’s aging and expanding population. A recent Paraprofessional Healthcare Industry survey found that Arizona will need more than 190,000 additional direct care workers by the year 2030. And a forecast by the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis indicates the state will have 28,100 fewer registered nurses than it needs by 2025, which is the biggest disparity for any state in the country.  


“The Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit is more than an event; it's a call to action,” said Aaron Ball, Ed.D., Director of College & Career Pathways at Center for the Future of Arizona. “Aimed at advancing education, training, and the recruitment and retention of health care professionals in Arizona, the summit is a strategic platform for building career pathways, promoting economic mobility, and addressing the critical workforce needs of the state. Ultimately, promising a catalyst for impactful change.” 


It is with that evolving healthcare landscape in mind that CFA organized the summit in partnership with the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, Banner Plans & Networks, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, and PipelineAZ. They understand the healthcare sector is poised to grow, and with that growth comes an opportunity and need for collaboration between education, workforce, and industry to support a thriving healthcare workforce. Sponsors Adobe Population Health, Arizona Complete Health, Banner Health Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Mercy Care, Molina Healthcare, OpusVi, OMNEAN, and United Healthcare Community Plan, helped make the summit possible. 


“Collaboration sets the stage for us to succeed with common goals in mind. When we know there are tremendous projected deficits in the healthcare workforce, it necessitates having everyone at the table,” said Katie Belous, Vice President of Operations at PipelineAZ.  


Beyond healthcare providers, summit attendees included K-12 and post-secondary educators, government officials, non-profit representatives, and disability advocates as multiple sectors recognize the need to build education and career pipelines and a strong talent pool. Pima Community College Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. Ian Roark along with UC-San Francisco researcher Dr. Joanne Spetz and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Dr. Amy Loyd were among the featured program speakers.  


Summit participants were invited to share their workforce and education initiatives through the Arizona Healthcare Compendium. Sessions covered challenges related to Healthcare Workforce Partnerships, Nursing Workforce Practice Readiness and Retention, and Community and Home-Based Care.  


About Center for the Future of Arizona   

Center for the Future of Arizona is a nonprofit, nonpartisan "do-tank" that brings Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for our state. Through survey research & reports, Arizona Progress Meters, and impact initiatives & programs, CFA listens to Arizonans to learn what matters most to them, shares trusted data about how Arizona is doing in those priority areas, brings critical issues to public attention, and works with communities and leaders to solve public problems. CFA leads impact initiatives and programs across the state and has deep and ongoing engagement in education, workforce development, and civic health, recognizing how essential these are to advancing economic prosperity, quality of life, and opportunity for all. Learn more at