August 11, 2020

Sponsored Report

Curing the healthcare workforce gap

April Neumann | 4/1/2020

Founded in Clearwater in 1994 with an additional location in Tampa, Ultimate Medical Academy is helping to meet the growing need for skilled healthcare workers in Florida and throughout the U.S.

The need for skilled healthcare workers is critical and growing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12.5 million workers will be needed to fill new and open healthcare positions between 2018 and 20281. In Florida alone, the number of jobs in the healthcare and social services industry will grow by 15 percent from 2019-2027 and will represent more than 1.35 million jobs in the state by 20272.

Among the factors contributing to this growing need is the substantial aging population. As of the 2018 U.S. Census, more than one-fifth of Florida’s population was age 65 or over, and as the sizeable Baby Boomer generation approaches retirement, that number is expected to grow. While the longevity and proportion of older persons increases, so does the need for lifelong healthcare and social services to support greater well-being and quality of life. Unfortunately, just as many seasoned healthcare workers are retiring from medical practices, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies, employers are finding there aren’t enough skilled younger workers to step into those positions.

Further complicating things, the Florida Department of Health reports more than half the state’s population at all ages are faced with disabilities and chronic diseases–including diabetes, kidney and heart conditions, cancer, hypertension and arthritis3–putting additional pressure on the state’s healthcare providers.

Ultimate Medical Academy equips and empowers students to excel in healthcare careers.

To fill this critical gap in the workforce, more individuals need to be trained for
and connected to a broad range of healthcare positions.

Ultimate Medical Academy, an accredited4, nonprofit institution of higher learning, is educating and empowering the next wave of Pharmacy Technicians, Patient Care Technicians, Medical Assistants, Nursing Assistants, Medical Billing and Coding Specialists, Health Information Technology Specialists, and more. Hands-on programs are offered at UMA’s Clearwater campus, and UMA extended healthcare learning to online programs that provide career path opportunities to students nationwide. UMA also provides continuing education to more than 30,000 physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners annually across the country through its continuing medical education (CME) division.4

In addition to academics, UMA partners with healthcare companies throughout the U.S. to identify talent needs and connect those employers with a talent-ready pipeline while simultaneously connecting graduates with available jobs.

Through employer partnerships, UMA meets expressed workforce needs while supporting graduates.

Understanding what is essential to healthcare employers helps UMA to better meet their needs while supporting graduates. UMA partners directly with employers in the healthcare industry, at no cost to the employer, to know the skill sets they’re seeking and the positions they need to fill–both patient-facing and in the back office. Every UMA graduate is assigned a Career Services Advisor who supports them in their job search and helps to connect them to employer partners whose needs match their training and qualifications.

Since 2005, UMA has placed more than 40,000 graduates in jobs nationwide with more than 10,500 being placed in allied health positions in Florida since 2008, including jobs such as medical assistants, medical billers and coders, pharmacy technicians and dental assistants. Last year alone, Ultimate Medical Academy placed more than 650 graduates in jobs in Florida.

Healthcare facilities in Florida where there are large numbers of older patients will have different staffing needs from other parts of the country, and UMA is actively responding to that changing health care talent landscape. By analyzing current workforce demographics as well as the future workforce requirements for everything from individual practices to hospital systems to small, stand-alone emergency care and pharmacy clinics, UMA is treating and working to ultimately cure the healthcare workforce gap.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/emp-by-major-occupational-group.htm; Table 1.2 in the downloadable XLSX file, lines 395-J and 467-J

2 Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, http://www.floridajobs. org/workforce-statistics/data-center/statistical-programs/employment-projections

3 Florida Department of Health, http://www.flhealthcharts.com/charts/ChronicDiseases/default.aspx

4 UMA is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Its continuing medical education (CME) programs are individually accredited and are not included within the institution’s grant of accreditation from ABHES.

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