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 Health Services
Why Healthcare? Gulf Coast Health Services Steering Committee
Health Services Steering Committee  
Why Healthcare?  

The Workforce Solutions chose to target services to the healthcare industry because it is important to the Gulf Coast region. Employment in the healthcare industry is 6.4% of total regional employment, and hospitals alone in the region employ over 72,640 people. Projections for a number of key occupations in the hospital industry demonstrate a strong and continued demand for trained individuals into the foreseeable future.

Data from a 2002 American Hospital Association landmark report entitled, "In Our Hands: How Hospital Leaders Can Build a Thriving Workforce," reports survey data from Fall 2001 as follows:

Job Categories in Which Hospitals Are Experiencing Workforce Shortages
Registered nurse 84%
Radiology/nuclear imaging 71%
Pharmacy 46%
Lab/medical technology 27%
Nursing/clinical aides 20%
Average Hospital Vacancy Rates for Key Hospital Occupations
Registered nurses 13.0%
Imaging specialists 15.3%
Pharmacists 12.7%
Licensed practical nurses 12.9%
Nursing assistants 12.0%
Billers/coders 8.5%
IT technologists 5.7%
Housekeeping/maintenance 5.3%
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 2.2 million replacement health workers and 3.1 million new health workers will be needed by 2010.
Health Services Steering Committee 

The Workforce Solutions' efforts with hospitals are guided by the Health Services Steering Committee comprised of senior executives from area hospitals, health systems, and academic institutions, as well as representatives of the Greater Houston Partnership.

The Steering Committee oversees a variety of activities to develop more collaborative relationships between business and education. Its work over the past three years has focused on the critical shortage of skilled nurses. The Committee has helped to (1) increase the capacity of local schools to graduate nurses, (2) increase the supply of RNs by training current hospital employees to become nurses, and (3) understand the critical importance of a good work environment in attracting and retaining nurses.

Committee activities and initiatives fall into four primary work groups, each led by senior healthcare executives. These subgroups are Education, Marketing, Work Environment, and Legislative/Public Funding.

Committee activities are designed

  • To raise the awareness and attractiveness of healthcare occupations among the general public, particularly with K-12 students
  • To improve the diversity of the current healthcare workforce to better match community diversity
  • To increase enrollment capacity of the region's healthcare training institutions
  • To enhance funding available to students wishing to pursue such training
  • To train existing workers in order to upgrade their skills so they can move up career ladders within their chosen profession
  • To address the primary obstacle of limited faculty members in order to increase nurse training
  • To improve both the perception and the reality of hospitals as good places to work
  • To reduce the turnover of healthcare professionals in area hospitals and foster a more professional atmosphere in the workplace
  • To educate the general public, elected officials and others regarding the need for strong and continued support of public funding of occupational skills training in healthcare

For further information on Workforce Solutions's healthcare workforce development activities, please contact Cally Graves at (713) 499-6673 or

Health Services Steering Committee Members
Baylor College of Medicine
CHRISTUS Health Gulf Coast Region
HCA - Gulf Coast Division
Harris County Hospital District
Houston Community College System
Houston Northwest Medical Center
Houston VA Medical Center
The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research
Lone Star College System
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System
The Methodist Hospital
Park Plaza Hospital
Polly Ryon Memorial Hospital
St. Luke's Episcopal Health System
San Jacinto College District
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Medical Center
Texas Woman's University
The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas Medical Branch



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