Buerhaus to Chair National Health Care Workforce Commission

Photo by Anne Rayner

Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N., has been named chair of the National Health Care Workforce Commission, a 15-member panel comprised of distinguished leaders from academia and the health care industry created under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Buerhaus is the Valere Potter Distinguished Professor of Nursing at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and director for the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies for the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at VUMC.

Reporting to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the commission’s role is to serve as a national resource for Congress, the President, and states and localities; to communicate and coordinate with federal departments; to develop and commission evaluations of education and training activities; to identify barriers to improved coordination at the federal, state and local levels and recommend ways to address them; and to encourage innovations that address population needs, changing technology, and other environmental factors.

“The creation of this commission under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act conveys the critical need to assure that the nation’s evolving health care delivery system is supported by a workforce that is both trained and organized to tackle extraordinary opportunities and challenges, from advances in technology to extreme provider shortages,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University’s Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine.

“Peter’s work has made a profound difference, and I can only imagine the tremendous contribution he will make leading this prestigious commission,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., C.N.M., Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Unlike similar advisory committees, the National Health Care Workforce Commission will evaluate and make recommendations for the nation’s entire health care workforce, giving it a broad perspective and scope. Buerhaus will serve on the commission until September 2013.