News Releases

Murray Announces Major Boost to Train Workers, Create Health Care Jobs through the UW and Group Health

Sep 29 2010

Investments will help train workers as Washington’s health care industry and needs continue to grow

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced major investments in primary care physician and other health care professional training programs based in King County. Murray has been a leader in the Senate in working to make the necessary investments to help Washington state communities train workers and create jobs in the health care sector.

“Despite the recession, our region’s innovative health care industry continues to grow,” said Senator Murray“That means one of the smartest job creation investments we can make is in expanding our health care workforce. This funding is going to train the doctors and health care professionals we need to care for our seniors and families, and to make sure that everyone has access to quality care.”

As a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Murray played a critical role in ensuring the Health Care Reform bill made investments in creating jobs to fill our shortfall in doctors, nurses, and health care workers.

"We appreciate Senator Murray's leadership in working to improve access to primary care and ensure that Americans can get the care they need, when they need it, right in their community," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius today.  "The investments we’re making today in increasing our primary care workforce will bring us closer to the day when every American has access to high-quality, coordinated care from a doctor, nurse, and health care team near their home, deeply invested in their health."

The University of Washington

The investment announced today includes over $1.98 million that will allow the University of Washington to expand its physician assistant workforce program. The funding has been projected by the University of Washington to fund 50 student stipends of $22,000 per student per year, for 2 years. 

The MEDEX Northwest PA Program values the hard work of Senator Patty Murray in advocating for the health workforce needs of the nation—and of Washington State,” said Ruth Ballweg, MEDEX Program Director.The MEDEX Program has a 40 year track record of training 2nd career health professionals—including returning military corpspersons—to deliver high  quality and accessible care throughout the Pacific Northwest.   Senator Murray’s support—particularly on issues of primary care, rural health access, and health workforce—is critical to our success!”

Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County           

The investment announced today includes $2,263,435 to help provide low-income individuals in King County with successful training programs for a variety of healthcare professions, including: home care aides, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, emergency medical technicians, licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses, dental assistants, and health information technicians. Grantees will also provide additional supportive services such as transportation, dependent care, and temporary housing.

“This is a significant investment in our community that will result in real jobs in our economy for the next five years,” said Marléna Sessions, CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. “By taking the best and most innovative strategies of our different systems, tying them together and expanding them, we will be helping close to a thousand people improve their lives.”

Group Health

The investment announced today includes $960,000 that will allow the Group Health to bolster its primary care residency training program to increase the number of doctors trained in general pediatrics, general internal medicine, and family medicine. Group Health will use the 5-year grant to provide stipend support for new enrollees in 3-year primary care residency training programs. 

"Senator Pattty Murray has been a consistent advocate for workforce development in health care, and understands the critical role of family medicine as we expand quality care. Our residency program prepares graduates for high performing primary care medical centers. We are proud to be selected for funding to expand this excellent program." said Michael Soman, President of Group Health Physicians.