Gov. Tony Evers has formed a new task force that will study workforce challenges in Wisconsin’s health care system, which has been grappling with severe burnout among workers and the pandemic has only exacerbated it. situation.
On Tuesday, Evers named appointees to the task force, which was established by executive order and announced during Evers’ sixth State of the Union address last month.
The task force is one of several initiatives by the Evers administration to try to address the state’s workforce issues.
What will Governor Evers’ Healthcare Workforce Task Force do?
The group’s mission is to research and solve current and future workforce challenges in healthcare.
Evers’ executive order directs the group to conduct a comprehensive analysis of these challenges and recommend strategies to improve patient care and reduce the burden on health care workers. Evers also directed the task force to explore education and training pathways to create a more diverse, sustainable health care workforce.
What powers does Governor Evers’ task force have?
The panel is expected to make recommendations by September before considering the next two-year state budget.
Evers will consider the task force’s recommended solutions when drafting his next budget proposal for the 2025-27 cycle.
Why does this matter?
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated turnover and other workforce issues in the healthcare industry, leading to the loss of experienced employees due to burnout.
A recent study published in the journal JAMA Health Forum examined turnover rates among health care workers in each state between 2018 and 2021. The study found that turnover rates were still higher than pre-pandemic levels even in late 2021.
At the same time, the number of people entering the health care workforce is also higher than before the pandemic, which the study authors believe means increased turnover among health care workers. It also means post-pandemic health care organizations will have less experienced staff, the study authors said.
“Increased turnover in the healthcare workforce could impose significant costs on organizations and patients, as it means continuity of care may be disrupted and fewer staff with industry- and company-specific experience will be available,” the study said. “The more There is growing evidence that even in the absence of staffing shortages, staff dissatisfaction and staff turnover in health care settings can adversely affect patient care.”
Research finds that by 2021, more health care workers will transition entirely to jobs outside of health care. The study also shows that health care employers have trouble retaining female employees and recruiting Black employees.
Who will join the task force?
The task force will be led and chaired by Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez, who holds master’s degrees in nursing and public health from Johns Hopkins University.
Two dozen other people appointed to the task force are:
- Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Amy Pechacek;
- Kirsten Johnson, Secretary-Designate, Wisconsin Department of Health Services;
- Tom Kernozek, Chair, Department of Health Professions, College of Science and Health, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
- Danielle Cook, director of health sciences education for the Wisconsin Technical College System;
- John Raymond, president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin;
- Shawn Lerch, CEO, Sauk Prairie Healthcare;
- Joyce Mallory, Community Engagement Manager, Heroes for Healthcare;
- Sondra Norder, president and CEO of St. Paul Senior Services;
- Janet Zander, advocacy and public policy coordinator for Greater Wisconsin Aging Resources;
- Rick Abrams, CEO, Wisconsin Healthcare Association/Assisted Living Centers of Wisconsin;
- Heather Schimmers, Gundersen regional president, Bellin Gundersen Health System;
- Robyn Woolever, director of comprehensive nursing services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin;
- Sharon Cox, vice president and chief nursing officer, Beloit Health System;
- Eric Humphrey, chief human resources officer at Froedtert ThedaCare Health and chairman of the board of directors of the Healthcare Career Center of Southeast Wisconsin;
- Stacey Zellmer, vice president of the executive committee of the Wisconsin EMS Association;
- Gina Dennik-Champion, CEO, Wisconsin Nurses Association;
- Barbara Nichols, executive director of Wisconsin Care Center;
- Dr. Wendy Molaska, past president of the Wisconsin State Medical Association and private practice owner;
- Dakota Kaiser, psychologist and director of comprehensive services at Bridge Community Health Clinic;
- Dr. Amy Domeyer-Klenske, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists;
- Tom Boelter, Forest County Potawatomi Community Health and Wellness Administrator;
- Dr. Elsbeth Kalenderian, professor and dean, Marquette University School of Dentistry;
- Laura Gould, CNA, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center; and
- Kelly Buchholtz, chief nursing officer, Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin