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Mayor Bowser and DC Health Launch New Healthcare Workforce Task Force

Monday, May 2, 2022

(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Bowser and DC Health announced the formation of a new Healthcare Workforce Task Force charged with rebuilding, strengthening, and expanding the District’s healthcare workforce. The Task Force includes thought leaders from the healthcare, education, and government sectors and will be co-chaired by Dr. Wayne Fredrick, President of Howard University, and Ms. Anita Jenkins, CEO of Howard University Hospital.

“Our health care workers have been incredible throughout the pandemic. At every single stage of the pandemic, they’ve demonstrated the utmost professionalism and compassion. But they’ve been through a lot, and this task force is going to put forth fresh ideas for how to best support current and aspiring health care workers,” said Mayor Bowser. “We have an opportunity, right now, to bring more residents into a high-demand field and, in doing so, to provide relief and support to our amazing frontline health care workers.”

Task Force, which will convene between May and September 2022, will create short-term (6 month to 2 years), mid-term (3 to 5 years), and long-term (5 years and beyond) recommendations to expand the District’s healthcare workforce.

In conjunction with the creation of this task force, DC Health will be launching new programs and policy changes that will continue to sustain, energize, and expand DC’s health care workforce. These programs include:

  • A new High Need Healthcare Career Scholarship Program that will help train and retain the next generation of nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, home healthcare workers, and other direct care providers.
  • Changes to the District’s Health Professional Loan Repayment Program to incentivize our existing healthcare professionals to continue working in the District, with a focus on providing care to some of our city’s most historically disadvantaged communities.

Task force members include:

  • Co-chair Dr. Wayne Fredrick, President of Howard University
  • Co-chair Ms. Anita Jenkins, CEO of Howard University Hospital/AdventistHealthCare
  • Dr. Barbara Bass, Vice President for Health Affairs & Dean, GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, CEO, The GW Medical Faculty Associations
  • Dr. Barbara Bazron, Director, Department of Behavioral Health
  • Jacqueline Bowens, President & CEO, DC Hospital Association
  • Ruth Brinkley, President of Kaiser Permanente
  • Melisa Byrd, Senior Deputy Director and Medicaid Director, Department of Health Care Finance
  • Veronica Damesyn-Sharpe, Executive Director, DC Health Care Association
  • Dyana Forester, President of Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO
  • John Garvey, President, The Catholic University of America
  • Dr. Christina Grant, State Superintendent of Education for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
  • Robert Hay, Executive Vice President, Medical Society of DC
  • Paul Kihn, Deputy Mayor for Education
  • Mark LeVota, Executive Director of DC Behavior Health Association
  • Dr. Ronald Mason, President, University of the District of Columbia
  • Patricia McGuire, President, Trinity Washington University
  • Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Director, Department of Employment Services
  • Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, DC Health
  • Ian Perogol, Executive Director, DC Coalition of Disability Services Providers
  • Andrew Reese, Director, Department of Disability Services
  • Alexis Robertson, President & CEO, Opportunities Industrialization Center of DC (OIC/DC)
  • Ahnna Smith, Executive Director, Workforce Investment Council
  • Tamara Smith, President & CEO, DC Primary Care Association
  • Wayne Turnage, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Resources


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