HFO Radius: Issue 3, February 2010: Health Human Resources Workforce Investments

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Ontario has made significant investments to establish itself as a leader in health workforce research. These investments will significantly enhance the province's capacity to engage in appropriate health human resources planning and will build on the momentum in the health system toward greater evidence-informed decision-making. The Health Human Resources Policy Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry) is establishing this capacity through the following initiatives:

  • Research Chair in Health Human Resources
  • Ontario Health Human Resources Research Network
  • Health Human Resources Expert Advisory Group

Each of these are key initiatives of the HealthForceOntario strategy - the province's strategy to ensure that Ontarians have access to the right number and mix of qualified healthcare providers, now and in the future.

Ontario's First Research Chair in Health Human Resources

Arthur Sweetman, PhD has been named the first Ontario Research Chair in Health Human Resources. 

Ontario provided a $3 million endowment fund to establish a permanent Ontario Research Chair in Health Human Resources. This research position will be affiliated with McMaster University - as selected by the independent Selection Panel for the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy, Council of Ontario Universities.

As research chair, Dr. Sweetman will help increase the capacity for innovative, evidence-based health human resources research. He will focus on developing ways to forecast future health human resources needs for a variety of health professionals.

Dr. Sweetman will begin this role on July 1, 2010. More information about him can be found here.

Ontario Health Human Resources Research Network

The Ontario Health Human Resources Research Network (OHHRRN) is a province-wide network linking health human resources researchers and community decision-makers and partners. The network has been set up under the Applied Health Research Network Initiative - a ministry-funded program to support coordinated and policy relevant research in Ontario. The OHHRRN will devote 60% of its time to Ministry research questions and priorities.

The Ministry is providing OHHRRN $250,000 annually for five years.

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The Health Human Resources Expert Advisory Group

Ontario is establishing Canada's first provincial health human resources planning body - the Health Human Resources Expert Advisory Group (HHR EAG). This expert group will provide advice to the Deputy Ministers of Health and Long-Term Care and Training, Colleges, and Universities.

The HHR EAG will identify and analyze health human resources issues and research to help the Ministries and Local Health Integration Networks understand and appropriately plan for Ontario's health workforce needs.

The Deputy Ministers will appoint a chair and eight to ten objective and independent thinking members with knowledge, skills and expertise ranging from health economics to public policy. The Ministry will be launching a search for members shortly.

Moving forward

These capacity-building initiatives will stimulate more dialogue and debate about health human resources evidence across the province. The next step is to leverage this capacity to continue to develop innovative solutions to health human resources challenges in Ontario.

Source: HFO Radius