October 7, 2010

Buerhaus to chair national health care workforce panel

Buerhaus to chair national health care workforce panel

Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N.

Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N.

Reporting to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the commission’s role is to serve as a national resource for Congress, the President, and states and localities; to communicate and coordinate with federal departments; to develop and commission evaluations of education and training activities; to identify barriers to improved coordination at the federal, state and local levels and recommend ways to address them; and to encourage innovations that address population needs, changing technology, and other environmental factors.

“The creation of this commission under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act conveys the critical need to assure that the nation’s evolving health care delivery system is supported by a workforce that is both trained and organized to tackle extraordinary opportunities and challenges, from advances in technology to extreme provider shortages,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University’s Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine.

“Dr. Buerhaus is uniquely qualified for the responsibility to chair this commission. His innovative research on the health care workforce is recognized worldwide, and has already significantly influenced our health care policy.”

Buerhaus is the Valere Potter Distinguished Professor of Nursing at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and director for the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies for the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at VUMC.

“I’m pleased Dr. Buerhaus will represent Tennessee and the nation’s nursing profession on this influential commission that will help shape the future of our nation’s health care system,” said Gov. Phil Bredesen. “He has a distinguished record of scientific research and policy development and I’m glad that, with this appointment, he will share that expertise with the nation’s policymakers.”

The National Health Care Workforce Commission is required to submit two annual reports to Congress and the President. One report will serve as a strategic plan for achieving the priorities and goals identified by the commission, while the other report will address high-priority areas.

Unlike similar advisory committees, the National Health Care Workforce Commission will evaluate and make recommendations for the nation's entire health care workforce, giving it a broad perspective and scope.

“Peter is a leading authority in the world of nursing and health care,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., C.N.M., Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. “His work has made a profound difference, and I can only imagine the tremendous contribution he will make leading this prestigious commission.”

Buerhaus is known for his ground-breaking research on the nursing shortage. His work has revealed shortfalls in the nursing profession that collide with an increased demand for care as more than 80 million baby boomers age and retire. Other areas of his nursing research have included issues related to employment, earnings, managed care, staffing and quality.

Buerhaus will serve on the commission until September 2013.

Other commission members include representatives from health care, educational institutions, employers, third-party payers, health economics research, consumers, labor unions, and state or local workforce investment boards with term limits ranging from 2011 to 2013.