Workforce

Current Projects

  • Access to and Provision of Child and Youth Behavioral Health Services in the Rural and Urban U.S.
    The need for behavioral health treatment for youth has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known about the availability of youth behavioral health providers in rural areas. This study will investigate who provides behavioral health services to youth, how equitably the workforce is distributed, and gaps in service availability.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Allied health professionals, Children and adolescents, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Mental and behavioral health, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Pharmacy and prescription drugs, Physician assistants, Physicians, Substance use and treatment, Workforce
  • Dentist Supply, Dental Care Utilization, and Oral Health Among Rural and Urban U.S. Residents: Exploring Changes in the Past 15 Years
    This project will describe the national supply of the rural and urban dental workforce and investigate whether rural adults, compared to urban adults, report lower dental care utilization, higher prevalence of dental disease or both. This study will also look at whether disparities in oral health care and supply have changed over the past 15 years.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Allied health professionals, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Oral health, Workforce
  • Disparities in Family Physician Burnout Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    High levels of burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic have been documented among health professionals, particularly women and persons from underrepresented groups. This study examines how burnout has changed from 2019 through 2021 among family physicians as well as variation by rural/urban geography, other sociodemographics, and practice characteristics to identify physicians most in need of interventions to foster resilience and alleviate burnout.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Mental and behavioral health, Physicians, Workforce
  • Overcoming Barriers to Providing Rural Obstetrical Training for Physicians
    Rural communities struggle to maintain obstetrical (OB) services, due in part to scarce rural training opportunities for obstetricians and family physicians. This study describes the availability, characteristics, and output of residency and fellowship programs offering rural OB training and identifies solutions to support this training.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Healthcare access, Maternal health, Physicians, Women, Workforce
  • Rural-Urban Analysis of Persistent Health Professional Shortage Areas
    The study will describe rural-urban differences in persistent Health Professional Shortage Area designations for primary care, mental health, and dental care between 2010 and 2020, including those located in persistent poverty and majority minority counties.
    Research center: Rural Health Equity Research Center
    Topics: Healthcare access, Mental and behavioral health, Oral health, Workforce
  • Safe Obstetric Care Access for All Rural Residents: Minimum Standards for Clinical, Workforce, and Financial Viability of Rural Obstetric Units
    The goal of this project is to analyze data from rural hospitals to understand the criteria by which hospitals and communities assess their need and capacity for obstetric care access in rural counties and to describe effective ways to operationalize minimum standards for clinical safety and financial viability for rural obstetric units.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Critical Access Hospitals, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics, Maternal health, Women, Workforce
  • Specialist Physicians in the Rural and Urban U.S.: Supply, Distribution, and Access
    This project will describe the geographic distribution (rural/urban, regional, and intra-rural) of specialist physicians who care for patients experiencing conditions that account for the top four leading causes of rural mortality. It will also explore how patients in rural communities that lack these specialists obtain needed care.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Cancer, Care management, Chronic diseases and conditions, Frontier health, Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Physicians, Social determinants of health, Telehealth, Workforce
  • The Direct Care Workforce in Rural Areas
    In this study, we will measure the supply of long-term care services and supports (LTSS) direct care workers relative to older adult populations in rural and urban areas and measure employer and industry turnover among LTSS direct care workers. We will also explore how compensation levels – including wages and employer-based health insurance – are related to and predict worker turnover in the LTSS direct care workforce in rural and urban areas.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Allied health professionals, Health services, Home health, Long-term care, Post-acute care, Poverty, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health, Workforce
  • Treatment, Provider, and Cost Differences for Rural and Urban Patients with Opioid Use Disorder and Medicaid Insurance Across the U.S.
    This project will analyze Medicaid claims data to compare the treatment that rural and urban patients with opioid use disorder receive, documenting the workforce providing care, the distance that patients travel to receive care, and the cost of care. Findings from this study can be used to improve policies regarding opioid use disorder treatment.
    Research center: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Health services, Healthcare access, Healthcare financing, Legislation and regulation, Medicaid and CHIP, Mental and behavioral health, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Pharmacy and prescription drugs, Physician assistants, Physicians, Substance use and treatment, Telehealth, Workforce
  • Work Settings, Education, and Intent to Leave Practice among Rural vs. Urban Nurses
    Using data from the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey, this project will describe rural/urban differences in nurses' work settings, levels of education and licensure, demographic characteristics, income, and intention to retire or leave practice. Study findings could be applied to implement policies aimed at increasing nursing school output and attracting nurses to practice in rural areas.
    Research center: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Nurses and nurse practitioners, Workforce