Testifying before the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Higher Education on May 5, Maureen Milligan, THOT’s president and CEO, asked lawmakers to fund clinical training sites for non-physician health care professionals.

While the Legislature recognizes the importance of and appropriates funding for clinical training for physicians through Graduate Medical Education residencies, clinical training for nurses, respiratory and physical therapists, and other allied health professionals, remains largely privately funded by teaching hospitals themselves. A recent survey of THOT members found that these hospitals and health systems provide education and training for thousands of Texas’ non-physician health care students – education and training essential for students to graduate, become licensed, and secure the clinical skills required to join the healthcare workforce:

  • Harris Health System: >4,670 students
  • University Health – San Antonio: 3100 students
  • Parkland Health – Dallas: >3280 students
  • University Medical Center of El Paso: > 2400 students
  • Midland Health: 570 students
  • UTMB Health – Galveston: >3900 students

“Lack of access to clinical training is the primary obstacle to expanding class size in Texas’ nursing programs,” testified Milligan. “Without enough clinical training for students and for graduates who transition to direct patient care, Texas will never be able to grow the qualified Texas healthcare workforce it needs.”

The House Committee on Higher Education is charged in the interim with reviewing progress toward the goals of the 60*30TX plan, including institutional strategies for responding to changing workforce needs and demands, including workforce education, industry certification, and degree programs to address healthcare shortages.