Health Care Workforce Investment

All New Yorkers should have access to safe, affordable and high-quality health care. The COVID-19 pandemic taxed an already strained health care system, exacerbating disparities and systemic health care delivery issues, as essential health workers heroically forged against the surges to care for New Yorkers. New programs and funding will strengthen the pipeline of diverse medical professionals and support individuals looking to enter and grow in the health care and direct care fields. 

DOH and SUNY operate five grant programs with a total budget of $222.6 million.

$3.6 Million Diversity in Medicine Program

Diversity in medicine is critical to equitable health care. A diverse physician workforce reduces healthcare disparities and improves outcomes, but barriers prevent many individuals who have experienced adversity from becoming doctors. The Diversity in Medicine Program, started in 1991, provides a pipeline for students who have demonstrated resilience in overcoming adversity to enter medical school. The program, which has graduated more than 600 practicing physicians and encompasses 19 programs, is administered by the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY), a consortium of 17 public and private medical schools throughout New York State. The cornerstone of the program is the 12-month post-baccalaureate program, available to students who meet certain demographic criteria and have not received acceptance to medical school.

Status: Launched. State investment has enabled AMSNY to expand the number of students enrolled in its post-baccalaureate programs and increase stipend support for participants.

Outcomes to Date: 

  • Trained 52 students to prepare them for post-baccalaureate programs, with 59 students expected in FY24.
  • Supported five postbaccalaureate programs, including Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo, New York Medical College, Norton College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (a first-time participant).
  • Expanded five programs through a new RFP process, including Bronx Community Health Leaders, Bridges to Medicine, Mentoring in Medicine, Growing the URIM Bridge, and AIM-HI, with an expansion to 10 new programs in FY24.
  • Provided 30 scholarship awards of $42,000 each, totaling over $775,000. In FY24, this is expected to expand to 33 awards totaling $1 million.

For more information, visit the program’s website.

$78 Million Caregiver Flexibility for Direct Care Workers

Long-term care workers often face barriers that prevent them from moving between caregiving roles, making it difficult for direct care workers to take new jobs and for care facilities to fill openings. This initiative will facilitate the creation of a model for training “universal” long-term care workers who can move across caregiving roles, ensuring that long-term care providers experiencing workforce shortages can identify and deploy trained workers in a timely and efficient manner. This $78 million program will comprise three funding opportunities: Direct Caregiver Training Centers; Direct Caregiver Support Hubs; and a Stackable Credential Curriculum that would allow a trainee to receive approval and certification to work as a Personal Care Aide, a Home Health Aide, and/or a Certified Nurse Aide.

Status: Anticipated launch in 2024.

$94 Million Financial Burden Relief for Health Care Workers

Through this program, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) will provide direct financial support for the education of healthcare professionals, provided they work in New York State for a specified period after obtaining their credentials. The plan will offer free tuition, cover instructional costs for high-demand health occupations, and provide stipends to make up for lost income while in school, including a $15 million allocation for a healthcare workers scholarship. It will also provide wraparound services such as childcare and transportation support to eliminate obstacles that make it difficult for New Yorkers to obtain training required for health care professions.

Status: Anticipated launch in 2024.

$45 Million Training Capacity Expansion for Statewide Institutions

New York’s medical institutions often lack the training capacity to prepare the next generation of health care professionals as they focus on delivering immediate care to New Yorkers. To support a steady pipeline of high-quality healthcare workers, DOH will make investments to increase the training capacity of medical institutions. This initiative will identify and fund a range of projects to advance this goal, which may include establishing new training programs, developing innovative training approaches and techniques, and providing compensation for workers to train full-time support staff and in doing so expand overall training capacity.

Status: Launched. DOH opened a Solicitation of Interest in March 2023 and has received more than 200 applications. DOH is currently working with potential awardees on contract terms and award amounts which will be forthcoming when finalized.

For more information email [email protected].

$2 Million Pre-Medical Opportunities

This $2 million program provides academic support, mentoring, career guidance, clinical exposure, and application support to Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students seeking to pursue careers in medicine. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students from underrepresented communities and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who successfully enter careers in medicine. This is a program in partnership with SUNY’s Office of Opportunity Programs and its medical universities – University at Buffalo, Downstate Health Sciences University, College of Optometry, Stony Brooky University, and Upstate Medical University.

Status: Launched

Outcomes to Date:

  • Supported 57 students since its launch through the summer enrichment program, with 23 students in 2021, 20 in 2022, and 14 enrolled in 2023. Graduates included two students entering medical school, and six students pursuing graduate school in a related field.
  • Mentored by 22 SUNY-medical students, paired with students one-to-one to support participants' academic needs.
  • Launched at Downstate Health Sciences University College of Medicine in June 2023 and included 4-week summer enrichments. Each student received a $5,000 award to assist with non-tuition related expenses and mentorship with a current medical student. There are 14 students from NYC (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn), Southern Tier, Western New York, Long Island, Central NY, and Mid-Hudson.

For more information, visit the program’s website.