Arizona Board of Regents announces university-led statewide effort to address critical health care workforce shortages

Today, the Arizona Board of Regents announced a comprehensive, university-led statewide effort to address critical workforce shortages among physicians, nurses and other health care professionals. Currently, it is estimated nearly 3 million Arizonans have limited access to primary care, and more than one in three Arizona hospitals face a critical staffing shortage.

AZ Healthy Tomorrow will leverage the combined resources and expertise of Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona to address this urgent workforce development challenge, while accelerating Arizona’s leadership in bioscience, life science and research. The board is allocating $30 million* to support the development of this initiative.

As part of the initiative, ASU will launch ASU Health, which includes the establishment of a new medical school and could lead to ASU-led health clinics across the state.

Governor Katie Hobbs lauded the new health care initiative as another example of how the board of regents and Arizona’s public universities are working to solve the most pressing problems facing our state.

“It’s critical that we ensure every Arizonan has access to quality, affordable health care,” said Governor Hobbs. “That means we must attract and develop qualified health care professionals, and the AZ Healthy Tomorrow program is an important step to getting that done. I’m glad Arizona’s universities are moving the needle forward on this important issue.”

“There is not a moment to waste as Arizona must train and deploy the health care professionals our fast-growing population requires,” said Regent Fred DuVal, Chair Elect of the Arizona Board of Regents. “AZ Healthy Tomorrow is about bettering the lives of Arizonans and Arizona families by improving access to health care and lowering costs.”

Key components of the plan include:

In addition to a new medical school, ASU Health will pioneer advances in health care while growing ASU’s partnership with the Mayo Clinic; expand the nursing workforce; bridge engineering and medicine to advance problem solving and address complex health care problems; and more.

UArizona and Banner Health will forge the College of Medicine and Banner University Medical Center into a fully integrated academic medical center. This will bring together some of the brightest minds in research, while increasing the medical school’s capacity and number of graduates.

NAU will continue to be a national leader in nursing and allied health and will be vital to this initiative’s success in rural Arizona. The university will announce details of its plans this fall.

AZ Healthy Tomorrow has set a goal for Arizona to exceed the national average in terms of the state’s number of doctors and nurses per capita.  

*Funding will be allocated from the Technology and Research Initiative.

Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |
Julie Newberg, 602-229-2534 |

Posted in AZBio News.