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Communities of Interest - Health Care Workforce

Leader
Len Levin

The Leader of this COI is Len Levin.

Len Levin is the Head of Education and Clinical Services at the Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Len holds a Masters Degree in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College and a Master of Arts in Psychology and Religion from Andover Newton Theological School. Prior to joining UMass in 2003, Len was the Health Sciences Librarian at the Paul E. Woodard Health Sciences Library, New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. He has worked in the health care field since 1982. Len's Posters and Presentations can be found here: http://works.bepress.com/len_levin/.

Facilitator
Stephanie FrireeStephanie Friree, MLIS, is the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region's Outreach and Technology Coordinator.

According to the Association of Academic Health Center's 2008 Out of Order, Out of Time report, "Health workforce is a broad term which encompasses the many individuals with and without professional degrees required to deliver healthcare in today's complex environment." The Health Care Workforce Community of Interest (COI) is concerned with issues and trends related to the composition, distribution, preparation, and ongoing development of students and professionals in the health care setting.

It is well documented that there are a number of areas in the United States, both geographic and access-related, that lack sufficient health care services today. In addition, due to the aging of the "baby-boomer generation", the U.S. will soon experience a profound change in its demographic profile and the healthcare services that are anticipated to meet this change. The NER is dedicated to issues of health literacy and proficiency in accessing and efficiently utilizing National Library of Medicine health information resources and sees outreach to those who will be at the forefront of providing care in the coming years a priority.

Education levels for health care training vary from graduate-level MD, PhD and masters-level training to occupations that require less than a 4 year degree. Community Colleges are expanding health care-related programs to address the training needs of this last group of students. Expanding training and outreach on information-seeking skills to include larger segments of this new workforce means working with Community Colleges and other vocational training programs in the health services. The implementation of HealthIT initiatives (e.g., the Affordable Care Act) and the push for broad and meaningful use of electronic health records will increase the need for a skilled and better trained workforce for practitioners at all levels and healthcare support staff.

During the summer and fall of 2013, a Health Care Workforce Advisory Group, consisting of librarians from Community Colleges and similar venues representing the six New England states, gathered to discuss the goals of this Community of Interest moving forward and how to best achieve these goals.

You can learn more about the Healthcare Workforce COI by perusing the achives of our blog:

Watch recordings of our webinars: