SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) announced the approval of $40.8 million in grant awards to 20 organizations that support and encourage students from underrepresented regions and backgrounds to pursue healthcare careers.
The grant awards will be issued through the Health Professions Pathways Program, which focuses on students entering the fields of primary care, behavioral health, geriatrics, nursing, and oral and allied health.
“To build the healthcare workforce California needs, we must reach out to the next generation to support them to become healthcare professionals,” said HCAI Director Elizabeth Landsberg. “HCAI is pleased to provide this financial support for pipeline programs, internships and fellowships that will open the door to needed healthcare professions for students, and in turn help the state create a more diverse and linguistically competent healthcare workforce.”
The nearly $41 million in awards will support 32,800 participants in 30 counties. This includes supporting 31,385 students with outreach, mentoring, and support, 1,220 undergraduate students with paid summer internships, and 195 grantees with one-year post undergraduate fellowships.
“California, like many states, is facing tremendous workforce shortages and inequities in the health care delivery system. The Health Professions Pathways Program awards are a step in the right direction – one that seeks and supports health providers that look, speak, and have the same life experiences as the diverse Californians they serve,” said California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “While broad workforce pipeline efforts continue, these grants will help pave the way for supporting the next generation of diverse healthcare professionals in California.”
The Health Professions Pathways Program is one piece of a larger $1.4 billion dollar Workforce for a Healthy California for All initiative that aims to tackle workforce shortages in health and human services. These CalHHS funding opportunities, in conjunction with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, increase the workforce pipeline via investments in training programs and funding innovative apprenticeship programs and pilots to accelerate the development of the nursing and care economy, behavioral health providers and community health worker/promotores.