Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Kentucky Chosen for National Governors’ Association Health Workforce Policy Academy

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 13, 2014  
Contact Information:  Terry Sebastian
Jennifer Brislin
502-564-2611
 


Session will help states plan to transform, build health care workforce

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky has been chosen as one of only seven states to participate in the National Governor Association’s (NGA) Health Workforce Policy Academy beginning this month in Washington, D.C. The academy is designed to help states develop and implement statewide plans for their health care workforce with the goal of improving the quality of health care and controlling its cost.

“The health care workforce is crucial to improving the quality and efficiency of health care, and we must prepare them for the changes occurring in the health care environment,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Kentucky looks forward to working with other states as we implement our health workforce action plan.”

In addition to Kentucky, states participating in the Building a Transformed Health Care Workforce: Moving from Planning to Implementation policy academy are Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The process is designed to assist states with creating a roadmap for putting in place health workforce policies that support governors’ broad statewide goals. Topics discussed will include: addressing workforce shortages, strategies for collecting and analyzing data, new delivery models for services, as well as sessions on primary care, oral health and behavioral health.

Kentucky has been hailed as a national model for its implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the expansion of Medicaid and the establishment kynect, Kentucky’s state-based health benefit exchange. Since Oct. 1, 2013, more than 413,000 individuals have successfully enrolled in health care coverage through kynect.

In an effort to build upon that success, Gov. Beshear launched kyhealthnow, which provides a detailed blueprint of the state’s future health and well-being, laying out seven major goals and targeted means of addressing each one. Specifically, the program seeks to:

  • Reduce Kentucky’s rate of uninsured individuals to less than 5 percent.
  • Reduce Kentucky’s smoking rate by 10 percent.
  • Reduce the rate of obesity among Kentuckians by 10 percent.
  • Reduce Kentucky cancer deaths by 10 percent.
  • Reduce cardiovascular deaths by 10 percent.
  • Reduce the percentage of children with untreated dental decay by 25 percent, and increase adult dental visits by 10 percent.
  • Reduce deaths from drug overdose by 25 percent, and reduce the average number of poor mental health days of Kentuckians by 25 percent.

“Participating in this prestigious policy academy will help us ensure that we continue to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to Kentucky in this new era of health care,” said Audrey Tayse Haynes, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “We look forward to learning about how to foster a well-trained, flexible workforce that can provide access to quality care for all Kentuckians.”

A policy academy is a highly interactive, team-based, multistate process for helping a select number of states develop and implement plan to address a complex public policy issue. Participating states receive guidance and technical assistance from NGA staff and faculty experts as well as consultants from the private sector, research organizations and academia.

To learn more about NGA’s health division, please visit www.nga.org/cms/center/health.

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