(from left to right) Naomi Soto, Regional Access Project Foundation; Nicole Vick, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Lindsay Gervacio, Families in Good Health; Ramla Sahid, SAY San Diego.
Did you know that the majority of Californians eligible for new health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act are people of color? Yet, does our health care workforce reflect the cultural and linguistic needs of the newly insured?
Our Women’s Policy Institute fellows Lindsay, Ramla, Naomi and Nicole are working to solve this problem through public policy. Their solution? AB 2102—bill authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting. This bill addresses three challenges facing California in light of the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
- An increased demand for care;
- A pending shortage of health care providers; and
- An insufficient system for investing resources and targeting outreach to ensure that our workforce meets our state’s diverse populations.
AB 2102 ensures that California has a health care workforce that reflects the cultural and linguistic needs of the newly insured. AB 2102 requires the collection of demographic data for allied health professions including registered nurses, nurse practitioners, vocational nurses, respiratory care providers, physician assistants and psychiatric technicians. This information will be compiled and shared with the Healthcare Workforce Clearinghouse for the purpose of identifying and addressing disparities in the workforce.
“Our state has led the way in making sure Californians have access to health care through the effective implementation of the Affordable Care Act. What people may not know is that the majority of Californians who will be eligible for health care coverage are from communities of color. Many of them have specific language and cultural needs that can best be met by medical providers that understand these needs. AB 2102 takes the next step in creating a healthy state by making sure that the health care workforce reflects the cultural and linguistic needs of the newly insured,” said Nicole Vick, one of the four fellows working on this bill.
“The data will also ensure there are enough providers to meet the increased demand for care. AB 2102 requires the collection of demographic data on several allied health professions that are at the front line of the delivery of services such as nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants. With this data, we will know how to invest limited resources to make sure the workforce reflects the communities it serves and meets all the needs of its patients,” said Nicole.
The mentor for this team is Sarah de Guia, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network.
Support AB 2102! Starting now until June 9, you send a letter of support to Senator Ted W. Lieu, Chair of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. Download the sample letter of support and send it today! Every letter of support counts!
2013-14 Women’s Policy Institute Teams