Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy

Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research,
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

December 2015
We want to hear from YOU
Have you used our data and research in your work? If so, please drop a note to or and tell us how our data, presentations, fact sheets or reports have been useful in your work. We'd also like to hear about the types of information that you'd like to see from our program in the coming year. For those of you in North Carolina, we really need to hear from you!
Medical Education in North Carolina

Medical Education Brief Informs Discussion About Proposed Medical School

In August, we released a report entitled, "The State of the Physician Workforce in North Carolina: Overall Physician Supply will Likely be Sufficient but is Maldistributed
by Specialty and Geography." The report is an important resource to stakeholders in discussions about whether to develop a new medical school in Charlotte, as well as in discussions about the future of Graduate Medical Education in NC.

Authors: Erin Fraher, Julie Spero 

Read the news release here.

NC Medical School Graduate Outcomes for Class of 2009

The Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy and the North Carolina Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program released their annual report tracking where NC medical school graduates are practicing five years after graduation.  Of the 423 graduates in 2009 who are still in training or practice as of 2014, 121 (29%) remained in a primary care specialty.  East Carolina University's medical school graduates continue to show the highest rate of retention in NC both overall (52%, n=33) and in primary care (30%, n=19). Of the class of 2009, 131 (31%) graduates were practicing in NC in 2014, but only 3% (n=11) were working in rural counties.

Find the report to the Board of Governors (Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs, Item 5) here . 
Nursing in a Transformed Health Care
System: New Roles, New Rules

In redesigned health systems, nurses are assuming expanded roles for a broader range of patients in ambulatory and community-based settings. This brief, released in June 2015, describes the types of new roles that are emerging due to changing care delivery and payment models and outlines the educational, policy, and regulatory structures that must change with them.

Authors: Erin Fraher, Joanne Spetz, Mary Naylor 

Read more here.
Carolina Health Workforce Research Center

Created in 2013, the CHWRC is one of six national Health Workforce Research Centers funded through cooperative agreements with the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis within the Bureau of Health Workforce in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The mission of the CHWRC is to conduct and disseminate timely, policy-relevant research on the flexible use of healthcare workers to improve the quality and efficiency of health care. 

Projects in 2015-16 include
  • Predicting Role Transitions for the LPN-to-RN Workforce in North Carolina
  • Innovative Medicaid- and State-Funded Graduate Medical Education Models: How Are States Changing GME Programs to Affect Workforce Outcomes?
  • Toward a Better Understanding of Social Workers on Integrated Care Delivery Teams
  • Determining the Value and Outcomes of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • The Role of Practice Facilitators in Meeting the HIT Needs of Rural Practices  
Read more here. 
Recent CHWRC Products
Research Brief: Diffusion of Physicians and Access To Primary Care: The Role of Person, Program, and Place

This research brief explores whether it is possible to predict that a place will become more or less underserved based on the personal characteristics of physicians, particularly in primary care specialties, the characteristics of the counties from and to which they move, and their likelihood to move into or out of rural places. Read more...

Author: Tom Ricketts   
Research Brief: The Workforce Transformations Needed to Staff Value-Based Models of Care

What will the shift to value-based payment models mean for the workforce? This report synthesizes the existing body of evidence on the workforce implications of new models of care.  We identify: 1) task shifting that is occurring in the delivery of traditional health care services; 2) new staff roles that are emerging to provide enhanced care services; 3) how employers are "putting it all together"; and 4) the implications of these trends for health workforce research and policy.   Read more...

Authors: Erin Fraher, Rachel Machta, Jacqueline Halladay
Service Spotlight

Program staff have been traveling around the country and the state giving presentations to a wide variety of health workforce stakeholders. Here is a sampling of the presentations and audiences:
News and Events

Health Workforce Seminar Series
  • 1/6/16, 1:00-2:30: "Reflections on Race and Medicine": Damon Tweedy, MD, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center. Location TBD. Please RSVP to Julie Spero so we can plan accordingly.
  • 1/28/16, 2:00-3:30: Warren Newton, Director of NC AHEC, and William B. Aycock Distinguished Professor & Chair, UNC Dept. of Family Medicine; speaking on IPE, IPP and outcomes. Rosenfeld Conference Room, Sheps Center, Chapel Hill, NC. 
Welcome New Students!
Our Program is committed to developing the next generation of health workforce researchers. We are pleased to welcome Emily Tierney and Kathryn Lavoie to our team. Emily is a first year UNC-CH MHA student working on our FutureDocs Forecasting Tool. Kathryn is a second year UNC-CH MHA student working with the Health Professions Data System.   
Download our Data

Did you know?
The North Carolina Health Professions Data System makes county-level data on 19 professions from 1979-present freely available on our website.  Go to our product search tool at and select "Data" under the Product Type drop down box.

Need more data?
County counts are only the tip of the iceberg. We have additional variables and formats available for analysis. Visit for more information. Please note that we charge for most data requests on a cost recovery basis, and that approval may be required from the respective licensing board for us to release the data.
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