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HHS gives $320 million to boost health care workforce

by Heather Mayer, DOTmed News Reporter | September 28, 2010
In another move to help strengthen the country's health care workforce, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday that the government is issuing $320 million in grants.

Of those grants, $253 million will go toward expanding the primary care workforce, under the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act. Through the Health Profession Opportunity Grants, another $67 million will provide low-income individuals with education, training and supportive services to help them enter and advance careers in health care.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund grants will go toward programs designed to build the primary workforce and provide community-based prevention.

"[The grants] will provide much-needed support for increasing primary care capacity by expanding training programs for primary care providers, increasing access to patient care clinics, strengthening state-level workforce planning and providing training for personal home health care aides. All are vital to our future health care workforce," said Mary Wakefield, administrator of HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration, in a statement.

Sebelius said that strengthening the primary care workforce with these grants will increase the role that wellness and prevention play in health care.

"With these grants, Americans from all backgrounds will have new opportunities to enter the health care workforce," she said in a statement.