Healthcare Summit Discussion Addresses Workforce Solutions

Published on Tuesday, June 06, 2023


Ashley O'Shea, EOHHS

Drine Paul, DLT

PROVIDENCE, RI (June 6, 2023) – Today, state leaders in the public and private sectors gathered to review progress in addressing workforce pipeline challenges in the health and human services sector in Rhode Island at a Healthcare Workforce Summit. Co-hosts Rhode Island Executive Office of Health & Human Services, Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, and Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training held the policy discussion at Rhode Island Nursing Education Center, 350 Eddy Street, Providence from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Governor Dan McKee opened the summit that brought together healthcare, education, workforce training, policymakers, and employers for a data-driven, collaborative, facilitated process.

Governor McKee said, “Our state’s health and human services organizations provide critically important care and services to Rhode Islanders, even when facing significant workforce challenges. Access to care – high-quality, culturally sensitive care – will always be a priority, and I support all efforts to improve the supply, capacity, and diversity of our workforce in this sector.”

“The inter-agency team approaches this summit with an acute awareness that our healthcare system is facing unprecedented barriers to providing high-quality care and services and that workforce shortages are both a cause and a result of this distress,” said Ana Novais, Assistant Secretary, EOHHS. “Higher education and workforce training providers often struggle to attract, train, and retain workers and respond to shifting labor market projections, employer needs, and workforce requirements. Everyone recognizes the need for and importance of increased diversity and inclusion within the healthcare workforce.”

“This summit is conducive for sharing and interpreting data, trends, and anecdotal testimony as well as for brainstorming solutions,” said Shannon Gilkey, Ed.D., postsecondary commissioner, RIOPC. “The legitimacy always comes with the actions that follow the meeting of the minds. Our team at the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, in partnership with DLT and EOHHS, are true thought leaders and highly capable of transforming great ideas into great actions. This summit provided an opportunity for all to affirm shared challenges, identify immediate actions, and commit to ongoing collaboration to address them.”

“The state’s workforce is still adjusting to the aftershocks of the pandemic disruption,” said Matt Weldon, Director, DLT. “Through initiatives such as Back to Work RI, the DLT has worked with stakeholders to provide innovative workforce programs that meet employer needs while providing quality career opportunities to Rhode Islanders. We look forward to our continued collaboration with employers, workers, and our sister agencies to develop innovative solutions to existing and emerging challenges.”

JPEG files available upon request

Photos by: Samuel Aboh, Jr. 


Governor and private leaders
Governor and private leaders
discussion panel presenting