Workforce Summit Helps Healthcare Leaders Share Experiences, Solutions

December 13, 2012


By Linda Beattie, contributor

Many of today’s top healthcare workforce issues — ranging from the shortage of nurses and physicians to clinician satisfaction in their current roles — were recently examined by key decision makers at the inaugural Healthcare Workforce Summit, which took place in Southlake, Texas, on November 8-9, 2012.

The two-day summit brought together leaders from the healthcare workforce industry and provided a forum for collaboration and discussion, with the goal of creating innovative solutions to the challenges of attracting and managing a quality healthcare workforce. Participants included leaders in the areas of human resources, finance and clinical operations.

“The topics discussed ranged from educational to informative about trends in the industry, to case studies about real solutions,” said Bob Livonius, president of strategic workforce solutions for AMN Healthcare, who sponsored the event, and chairman of the American Staffing Association. “It was a good mix of recognizing some of the trends that will make our challenges even greater, but also the answers that will solve those problems.”

The summit was a product of the Healthcare Workforce Advisory Council , which is made up of professionals from healthcare organizations across the country who are committed to advancing proven strategies that address both short-term and long-term workforce needs. The 12-member council was formed earlier in 2012, and its members attend regular virtual calls and webinars; the webinars are open to all interested parties.

“What is unique about this group is that they have practical experience on a daily basis regarding the benefits and challenges of having the right amount of high-quality caregivers,” said Livonius.

Starting with this year’s summit, the council plans to meet annually with other workforce leaders to share information about industry trends, review benchmarks and best practices, hear from thought leaders, and discuss significant issues related to workforce solutions and strategies.

Jane Renken, MHA, system director for the center of expertise on workforce planning/talent management at PeaceHealth and a member of the Healthcare Workforce Advisory Council, called this inaugural event “an excellent experience; most pointedly, being together with peers and being collaborative [regarding the] daunting issues we have facing us in the workforce.”

“The material presented and the data that was given to us will help us lead and understand the gaps,” Renken added. “If we don’t understand the gaps, we won’t understand the risks or the opportunities that we need to put in place to solve the problems facing us in the workforce.”

Some of the data presented included the results of two new workforce surveys, including AMN’s 2012 Survey of Registered Nurses: Job Satisfaction, Career Patterns and Trajectories and A Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives, which was conducted on behalf of The Physician’s Foundation by Merritt Hawkins, an AMN Healthcare company.

Bill Rivard, OD, MBA, BS, president and chief executive officer of Matrix Providers, Inc., said the summit represented a great melting pot of ideas from top leaders in the field that he plans to bring back to his work in the federal sector.

“Listening to the folks here, the prominent people in their fields, putting ideas together, coming up with new solutions—especially in these times as medical care transitions in this country—I think it’s really important,” Rivard said.

The summit kicked off with a keynote address from Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN, nationally-recognized for his work on projections of future shortages of healthcare professionals as the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tenn., and chairman of the National Health Care Workforce Commission, created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Other keynote speakers included Rob Fisher, vice president of clinical services for In-Touch Health, and Martin Buser, MPH, FACHE, founding partner of Hospitalist Management Resources.  In all, approximately 50 workforce leaders took part in the interactive sessions and panel discussions.

Several participants expressed that the ideas that were generated during discussions, the level of collaboration with peers and the quality of information they received exceeded their expectations, and they are looking forward to similar events in the future, according to Livonius.

Based on the interest level in this year’s event, the second annual Healthcare Workforce Summit has already been scheduled for November 7-8, 2013 at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.

To learn more about the summit or the Healthcare Workforce Advisory Council, contact JoAnn Catalano, AMN Strategic Workforce Solutions, at JoAnn.Catalano@amnhealthcare.com or call 817-462-9017.

The 2012 Healthcare Workforce Advisory Council includes:

  • Ed Mosley, MA, JD, program director for external human services, Kaiser Permanente
  • Geoff Pridham, manager of nursing administrative services, Stanford Hospital & Clinics
  • Jane Renken, MHA, system director, center of expertise workforce planning/talent management, PeaceHealth
  • Keith Minnis, SPHR, vice president of human resources, Scott & White Healthcare
  • Piper Frithsen, MA, BSN, RN, director of patient care services, Tucson Medical Center
  • Kent McMackin, MA, chief recruitment officer, Cogent HMG
  • Mari Lou Prado-Inzerill, MA, RN, director of nursing operations and credentialing, New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Mamoon Syed, MHA, vice president of human resources, Rady Children’s Hospital
  • Pam Stahl, RN, MS, chief human resources officer, Providence Health & Services Southern California
  • Maureen McCausland, DNSc, RN, FAAN, senior vice president and chief nursing officer, MedStar Health
  • Kristin Bradley, director of human resources, Flagship Rehabilitation
  • Doug Kelleher, director of staffing, Therapy Resource Management