FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07/25/2014
REP. GUERRA APPOINTED TO HOUSE COMMITTEE TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE
MCALLEN – Today, State Representative R.D. “Bobby” Guerra (District-41) was appointed by Texas House Speaker Joe Straus to serve on the Select Committee on Health Care Education and Training, which will focus on preparing more Texans for careers in the state’s growing health sector.
Texas faces severe shortages in the health sector. Of the state’s 254 counties, 177 were designated all or partial Health Professional Shortage Areas this year by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. In addition, 207 counties were named shortage areas for mental health services. Many of the jobs that see persistent shortages do not require four-year college degrees.
“Coming from an area that has tremendous growth in the healthcare field, coupled with a new medical school on the horizon, I’ve seen first-hand the needs of our local colleges and our local healthcare professionals. The committee will evaluate how we can do a better job in training our citizens with practical applications that will better prepare them to transition from the classroom to the work force and meet the growing demand of healthcare professionals in South Texas and Texas as a whole,” stated Representative Guerra.
Serving as one of the 11 committee members, Representative Guerra will be tasked with assessing the statewide demand for health professionals in the work force, including in the area of mental health, and making recommendations to better align institutions of public and higher education with the needs of health care employers.
“Taking care of Texans’ quality of life is of the utmost importance and a top priority for lawmakers. We have an obligation to the communities we serve to ensure they have the right health care professionals and are being cared for in a professional and safe environment. The committee will serve to be a key resource to hear from our institutions of public and higher education about meeting the needs of our health care employers. I look forward to working with my colleagues, and I will strongly advocate for helping more Texans prepare for successful careers in a very demanding field,” said Representative Guerra.
The committee will assess the statewide demand for health professionals, including in the area of mental health. It will also make recommendations to better align institutions of public and higher education with the needs of health care employers. These recommendations will provide guidance as the Legislature seeks to strengthen the state’s health care workforce, which will lead to better care for patients and better career opportunities for many Texans. This committee may request the assistance of other committees in obtaining information.