AHA Urges Congress to Address Health Care Workforce Challenges

To inform lawmakers about the pandemic’s impact on the health care workforce, AONL member Tawanda Austin, MSN, RN, chief nursing officer at Atlanta-based Emory University Hospital Midtown, testified during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee this week. After describing in heart-rending detail what she witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin called for “a far more robust workforce to combat burnout and the overall shortage of providers.” She urged Congress to fund pathways for more people to enter the medical and nursing fields, and asked committee members to investigate potential abuses by staffing agencies. A letter submitted to the committee in advance of the hearing laid out American Hospital Association (AHA) members’ concerns, offered policy solutions and called on Congress to increase funding for health care workforce development through Titles VII and VIII.