The Work is Just Beginning When it Comes to Our Health Care Workforce
Joshua Ewing, MPA, VP of Legislative Affairs, Colorado Hospital Association
Please join us March 31st at 11:30 am MDT for a presentation with Joshua Ewing, MPA, VP of Legislative Affairs, Colorado Hospital Association. This presentation will show us we need to think bigger, rebuild, and not forget the challenges our health care system and health care workforce will be facing for the next 5-10 years.
Think back to the early days of the pandemic. Every night at 8:00, we would step out our front doors to howl, and bang pots and pans, just to show support and gratitude for our health care workers who were sacrificing so much on our behalf. My how quickly our memories fade. Today, our health care workers are regularly attacked—online, verbally and too often, physically—just for caring for their patients. Just for making the very same sacrifice that once drove us outside nightly in celebration.
Let’s be honest, the health care professions weren’t exactly easy before COVID-19, but for the past two years, our health care workforce has been pushed to the limit. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that at its peak late last year, the health-care sector nationally lost nearly half a million workers during the pandemic. Morning Consult, a survey research company, says that 18 percent of health-care workers have quit since the pandemic began.
As we are hopefully beginning the transition from pandemic to endemic, most of us would like to make COVID-19 a distant memory, and many will. However, the implications for our health care workforce will just be starting. The task for health care leaders and policymakers will be thinking creatively and differently about how to retain those health care workers who remain, as well as how to recruit the workforce of the future.
- We must think bigger. Existing pipeline programs are a start, but a much more comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure that Colorado can maintain and continue building upon the excellent care provided today.
- Rebuilding begins with wellness. It’s not an understatement to say that this pandemic has been traumatic for our health care workers. While we must address the immediate crisis, this also presents an opportunity to create robust supports for the future.
- Public and private investment. Building back and improving must be a focus of policymakers at the state and federal levels. However, not everything can (or should) be addressed by government.
- We must not forget. COIVD-19 is a once-in-a-generation event, and as much as we want to put the pandemic in the past, we cannot ignore the very real challenges our health care system and our health care workforce will be facing for the next 5-10 years.
aBOUT OUR SPEAKER:
Joshua is a public policy professional with nearly 15 years’ experience at the state and national levels who often finds himself at the center of the largest, most complex health care, business and financial debates in Denver and Washington, D.C. He is currently the Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the Colorado Hospital Association. In this role he serves as liaison to the general assembly, state regulatory agencies and the broader health care community for Colorado’s 100+ hospitals and health systems. Joshua is responsible for advancing policy objectives that strengthen Colorado hospitals and improve the health care system in Colorado. He’s led the organization’s legislative lobbying efforts since the 2018 legislative session.
Prior to joining the Association, Joshua worked as a health policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) serving the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. He was responsible for facilitating and speaking at national policy meetings, conducting timely research, producing publications and responding legislative and media requests. Joshua also served as the organization’s liaison to the Missouri General Assembly.
Originally from “Show-Me State,” Joshua holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Missouri State University. He now lives in the Washington Park neighborhood of Denver and enjoys hiking, snowboarding and traveling with his wife, Molly; sons, Jack and Will; and their dog, Henry.
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there is a $15.00 charge for this event.
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