For Immediate Release - July 25, 2013

Application period now open for Healthcare Workforce Transformation Fund

Grants aimed to support retention and training for employed and unemployed workers in health care industry

BOSTON – Thursday, July 25, 2013 – The Patrick Administration today announced the release of the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund Request for Proposals, opening the application period for organizations planning initiatives to address workforce challenges within Massachusetts’ health care industry.

“As Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in providing high quality and affordable health care for our residents, we need to ensure the workforce within the health care industry remains top notch,” said Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein. “We encourage health care organizations to pursue these grants to plan how to train and retain current employees, prepare new employees entering the workforce, and better inform the workforce of evolving and emerging technologies that will strengthen the delivery and quality of care for all patients.”

In August 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed “An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs Through Increased Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation,” building on the Commonwealth’s nation-leading access to quality and affordable health care for all Massachusetts residents. Following the passage of the landmark cost containment legislation, the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund was established to fund a wide spectrum of employee training and other programs within the health care industry.

The Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund will award grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 to organizations to support workforce planning activities. Applications will be accepted now through June 1, 2014 on a rolling basis; the first deadline is October 1, 2013. An initial allotment of $1 million is available and organizations are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible in order to ensure availability of funds.

“The launch of these workforce training resources coincides with the progress we’re making to build a community hospital investment program, and shows that our nation-leading cost containment law’s innovations are taking hold,” said Health Policy Commission Executive Director David Seltz. “We look forward to working alongside Secretary Goldstein and her team to align our programs so that these critical system investments lead to lower cost, higher-quality and more efficient and innovative health care delivery in Massachusetts.”

The goals of the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund include: supporting the development and implementation of programs to enhance health care worker retention rates; addressing critical health care workforce shortages; improving employment in the health care industry for low-income individuals and low-wage workers; providing training, educational or career ladder services for currently employed or unemployed health care workers; providing training or educational services for health care workers in emerging fields of care delivery models; and funding rural heath rotation programs, clerkships and health preceptorships at medical and nursing schools.

The Commonwealth Corporation will host an optional Bidders’ Webinar on August 8, 2013 for potential applicants. Additionally, Commonwealth Corporation will be answering questions applicants may have via email (kshack@commcorp.org). Click here to apply, review frequently asked questions and answers, and learn more about the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund. To learn more about the Commonwealth Corporation, visit: www.commcorp.org.

The Health Policy Commission (HPC), the new independent state agency responsible for implementing significant parts of the 2012 cost containment law, is currently developing the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization and Transformation (CHART) grant program. Learn more here. To learn more about HPC, visit: www.mass.gov/anf/hpc.

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