Professions – Overview
Minnesota has an ongoing program to track and analyze the state´s health care workforce, centered in the MDH´s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC). As part of this ongoing work, MDH conducts regular workforce surveys covering a wide range of licensed professions, works with stakeholders around the state to identify, synthesize, and as appropriate respond to emerging workforce concerns, and serves as the lead content experts for discussions on current and future healthcare workforce needs and strategies to resolve potential shortages. Through these and other activities, Minnesota has previously identified a current and growing shortage of primary care and related providers that will, if not addressed, present challenges to accomplishing the state´s health reform goals.
To help fill these gaps in services, MDH is working to advance the development of and monitor the impact of emerging professions:
- Community Health Workers
- Community Paramedics
- Dental Therapists which includes the Dental Therapist (DT) and the Advanced Dental Therapist (ADT)
MDH has been involved in the conception and development of these occupations, in large part because of their potential to contribute to the spread of team-based models of care and the roll out of Health Care Homes and other emerging models of care delivery.
Emerging professions have the potential to work for a wide range of organizations and in a wide range of settings. For example:
- a medical clinic may hire a community health worker to partner with local public health and extend a range of services to an underserved community.
- A hospital may hire a community paramedic and partner with long-term care organizations to provide services through transitions of care.
- A dental clinic may hire a dental therapist and work across sectors to expand services to behavioral health patients.
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