SUMMER ISSUE - July 2018


The Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority (VHWDA) continues to pay forward on its vision to make it better for the health care industry by helping insure that there is a credentialed workforce ready and willing to fill available positions. The workers needed are as diverse as the regions of the Commonwealth, providing opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds, competencies and credentials.

The VHWDA rolled out a Youth  Health Summit for more than 300 students from Richmond Public Schools on April 16, 2018 which was held at the Bon Secours, Washington Redskins Training Center.  The interactive, half-day summit empowered students to explore careers in health care. Exposing students to careers in health care represents a proven strategy that helps to jumpstart the thinking of participating youth to consider health care careers and eventually leads to filling the pipeline of highly qualified professionals. The numerous sponsors and exhibitors shared many stories about their interaction with students at the break-out sessions and when they visited their booths.
A huge thank you to all the sponsors and especially the premier sponsor, Cigna AND Richmond City Public Schools. To view pictures from the event, click here

The VHWDA has greatly benefited from the network of experts who are working diligently on the Statewide AHEC Scholars program that will launch in September 2018. Proceedings from the Spring briefing from the subcommittees led by the following individuals demonstrated they are driven by passion, commitment and outcomes. The Commonwealth through their efforts is on track to create a "gold standard" for AHEC Scholars programs in the country.   

Curriculum Development - Dr. Alan Dow; Faculty Recruitment/Development - Dr. Keith Howell; Student Recruitment/Retention - Ms. Aileen Harris; Program Promotion, Development and Funding - Dr. David Trinkle; Program Evaluation/Reporting; Mr. Rexford Anson-Dwamena and Site Identification/Preparation - Ms. Donna Dittman Hale

Applications for the Virginia AHEC Scholars program are now being accepted. To apply or to learn more about the Scholars program, click here

The VHWDA has experienced broad-based support of health care providers, pra ctitioners, executives and others throughout the Commonwealth.  The VHWDA's Board and its eight regional AHECs continue to leverage its positive experiences and capacity to meet the
requirements associated with the HRSA grant, and relationships with key stakeholder groups and   partners. I a m pleased to announc e that Carilion Clinic has been selected to serve as the new AHEC for Southwest Virginia. 
I continue to build and reinforce the partnerships that support the Statewide AHEC program and we are moving forward in our efforts to identify, recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals to successfully create and improve a competitive health workforce throughout the Commonwealth.


Ralph R.(Ron) Clark, MD

Dr. Clark joined the administrative team of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System as Chief of Staff of the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in 1997 and became Chief Medical Officer when the VCU Health System was created in July of 2000.
In his current role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Clark oversees the clinical quality and safety, graduate medical education, decision support, medical informatics, utilization management, and medical staff functions of the Health System. In addition, Dr. Clark maintains an active general internal medicine practice in both the ambulatory and inpatient care settings.
Dr. Clark serves on a variety of regional and national groups focused on improving the quality and safety of health care including the External Advisory Panel for Anthem BC/BS's Quality Insights program, the Cigna MidAtlantic Physician Advisory Council, the University Health System Consortium Clinical Evaluative Sciences Council, and advisory panels on quality and safety for the Virginia Hospital and Health Care Association.
Dr. Clark has been recognized in regional and national rankings for his expertise in clinical General Internal Medicine and has lectured and published in the areas of utilization management, clinical quality improvement, and patient safety.
Dr. Clark is a native of Bath County, Virginia and received his B.S. Degree in biology from the College of William and Mary and his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Graduate Medical Education (GME) Funding Updates... 

The 2018 Acts of Assembly, Chapter 2, Item 303 authorizes the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to make supplemental payments for new Graduate Medical Education (GME) residency slots effective July 1, 2019. Supplemental payments shall be made for up to 25 new medical residencies beginning in state fiscal year (FY) 2020. The supplemental payment for each new qualifying residency slot will be $100,000 annually for three (3) years. Payments will be made quarterly. All slots may be filled by primary care specialties if the applications meet the criteria. Any remaining slots may be awarded for high need specialties. Preference will be given for residencies located in underserved areas of the Commonwealth that serve Medicaid beneficiaries.

The current application cycle is open until August 31, 2018. Forms and additional information can be accessed by clicking here.

Coming Soon... 

Launch of the new Virginia AHEC Scholars Program
Outcomes from GME Stakeholder Group Meeting with Senator George Barker 
Update on the new Virginia Health Workforce Foundation   

Keisha L. Smith, MPA
Tel: 804.562.4928 
Henrico, VA