Emerging Health Professions
The Minnesota Department of Health has an ongoing program to track and analyze the state´s health care workforce. As part of this ongoing work, staff:
- conduct regular workforce surveys covering a wide range of licensed professions
- work with stakeholders around the state to identify, synthesize, and—as appropriate—respond to emerging workforce concerns
- serve as the lead content experts for discussions on current and future healthcare workforce needs
- develop strategies to resolve potential shortages
Through these and other activities, Minnesota has 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 gaps in health care services, MDH is working to advance the development of and monitor the impact of the following emerging professions:
- Community Health Workers
- Community Paramedics
- Dental Therapists – includes Dental Therapists (DT) and Advanced Dental Therapists (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 (you will be leaving ORHPC) 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.
These examples, and similar scenarios, display how emerging professions may be integrated into the workforce. The Emerging professions guide for professionalization: Tips for stakeholders and advocates of emerging professions to professionalize and integrate with the health care system (PDF) was created to provide background information and constructive knowledge that can assist stakeholders in professionalizing emerging health professions. This guide is not intended to help an individual practitioner build a business, obtain a license, or get reimbursed from Medicaid. It is, however, intended for stakeholders who represent the interests of an entire profession as they develop strategies to change policies and structures that will integrate the profession into the existing health care system.