TRP Is Now the Tennessee Center for Health Workforce Development
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Section: People & Places in the News, May 2018

(from the Tennessee Center for Workforce Development)

This spring, the Tennessee Rural Partnership unveiled its new name, logo, and website to support its evolution to a complete healthcare workforce development company. The new name – Tennessee Center for Health Workforce Development, reflects the company's expanded mission to guide comprehensive healthcare workforce development in the state and its continued commitment to improve the health of Tennesseans through provider placement. The new website can be visited at
TCWD will maintain its original charge to recruit primary care doctors to serve in rural and underserved areas in Tennessee and to administer its annual $2 million practice incentives. The practice incentives are divided into the Residency Stipend and the Community Incentive award. The Residency Stipend provides $35,000 per year to primary care and behavioral health residents for the length of residency.  The Community Incentive award provides $30,000 to practice sites to assist them with physician and psychiatric nurse practitioner recruitment.

To support its expansion, TCWD has developed additional divisions that support other health professions in short supply throughout the state.   The Center’s divisions include:

Physicians and Communities: If you know TRP, this is where it lives now. All financial incentives for medical residents and communities will be managed in this division, such as the Primary Care Resident Stipend program, Behavioral Health Stipend, and the Community Incentive. TCWD also will continue its one-on-one provider recruitment help.

Nursing: The Center will be forming focus groups and advisory councils to develop programs that address challenges around the nurse workforce.

Allied Health: TCWD has formed an advisory council of allied health deans and directors to help formulate plans and next steps for addressing the allied health shortages in Tennessee. 

Pipeline: The Center offers participatory experiences and financial awards to help Tennessee high school students advance from school to the healthcare workforce. TCWD works closely with the state’s medical schools and Tennessee HOSA to increase the healthcare workforce pipeline.

"Access to primary care is a major factor in improving population health and reducing healthcare costs," said Craig Becker, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA), parent company of the Center. "The whole nation is facing health workforce shortages and Tennessee has not escaped this issue. “

Becker continued, “Over the next decade, southeastern Tennessee alone will face a shortage of 500 physicians and 2,700 registered nurses due to aging populations and retiring workers. It is paramount to have an organization like the Center that is helping to build and develop a healthcare workforce in our state. This is not only a need for our hospitals, but to the patients they serve."

TCWD will also be branching out to offer education about workforce issues, creating white papers based on current workforce data, sponsoring think-tank style conferences, and providing policy and advocacy expertise surrounding healthcare workforce issues in Tennessee's communities.

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