Bureau of Health Workforce

The Bureau of Health Workforce improves the health of people who need it most. We strengthen the health workforce and connect skilled health care providers to communities in need.

What are our priorities?

  • ACCESS: Make it easier for people to get health care.
  • SUPPLY: Add health care workers to the workforce.
  • DISTRIBUTION: Help health care providers work where they are needed.
  • QUALITY: Train health care providers to use techniques proven to help patients.

How do our programs help communities in need?

We offer scholarship, loan, and loan repayment programs. These programs help communities recruit and retain primary health care providers.

Our loan and scholarship programs:

How do we train the health workforce?

We train the primary care workforce through our Health Professions Training Grants. These grants:

  • Invite clinicians to practice in areas with limited access to care. This includes rural areas.
  • Increase diversity
  • Encourage health care workers to learn from each other

Our grant programs help create a modern health workforce. They place skilled health care providers in high-need areas nationwide.

How do our partners help us?

Our strategic partnerships help us make decisions on policy and program planning. We work with Advisory Committees, Health Workforce Research Centers, and Primary Care Offices.

How do we determine which communities need our programs the most?

We decide which areas, people, or facilities need health care workers. We call these Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUAs/Ps).

HPSAs and MUA/Ps help us focus our resources on the highest need places and people. Federal agencies use them to decide who is eligible for federal programs.

These programs include:

How does data inform our work?

Our National Center for Health Workforce Analysis collects and evaluates health workforce data.

They examine issues affecting the U.S. health workforce. Their research helps people who create laws make informed decisions.

How does our data serve the public?

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) is for eligible health care organizations. They can view past adverse actions of health care workers, providers, and suppliers.

This helps:

  • protect the public;
  • improve health care quality; and
  • stop fraud and abuse in the U.S. health care system.
Date Last Reviewed:  May 2020