There are a lot of strategies out there for addressing our state’s healthcare crisis. We can provide incentives for healthcare professionals to live here. We can fund new nursing programs. But the first step toward helping Maine meet its health workforce needs is to promote the organizations that already exist. These development nonprofits and parts of the government are already doing the work. If you can, consider supporting any of these organizations, either through financial donations or vounteer work.

Maine Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration – Established in the 1960’s, this professional organization is devoted to the continuing development of healthcare human resource managers and workers. They participate in statewide initiatives that plan and address healthcare workforce shortage and collaborate with others organizations to advocate on both state and national levels. The MSHHRA also provides joint educational programming with other professional organizations.

Maine Public Health Association – This organization is devoted to healthcare professional development. Through periodic webinars, conferences, and online professional and personal resources, the MPHA supports Maine’s healthcare workers through advocacy and continuing education. This is also a great resource for those who want to begin a career in healthcare but don’t know which Maine colleges and universities provide public health degrees.

Maine Behavioral Health Workforce Development Collaborative – The MBHWDC connects Maine’s mental healthcare professionals with future career opportunities. Their goal is to help mental health professional enhance their skills and knowledge to better serve the residents and people of Maine. They offer educational programs, both in-person and online, and partnerships with other organizations.

Maine’s Department of Labor Workforce Development Initiative – The state’s Department of Labor is helping improve opportunities for workers through workforce development. This is an excellent place to start if you are considering a career in healthcare. The DoL website provides resources for on-the-job training, policy initiatives, and information about accessing higher education opportunities.

MaineHealth – A non-profit organization, MaineHealth is recognized as one of the nation’s top integrated healthcare delivery networks. They maintain a Center for Workforce Development, which works to strength the state’s healthcare community while creating opportunities for employment and growth. The initiative provides educational opportunities, forges career paths for young people, and promotes employment opportunities within the Maine communities they serve.

Maine Hospital Association – The MHA provides healthcare leadership through advocacy, information, and education to support its members. Importantly, they understand the current qualified staff shortage, pointing out that the shortages are particularly acute in clinical staff. The organization is working to identify and address the nature and severity of these shortages. Their plan is to create a concrete, targeted response to the healthcare crisis through workforce initiatives.