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TODAY news for Thursday, October 19, 2006

School of Allied Health Professions news

SAHP dean serves on panel at 2006 Healthcare Staffing Summit held in San Diego

Craig Jackson, JD, MSW
Craig Jackson, JD, MSW
Craig Jackson, JD, MSW, dean of the School of Allied Health Professions, was invited to serve as a panelist for one of the sessions of the Healthcare Staffing Summit 2006, held in San Diego September 19 to 21.

Organized by Staffing Industry Analysts, Inc., the summit drew an audience primarily composed of senior level executives from health care staffing firms.

Dr. Jackson was one of only two educators invited to take part. The other educator, Robert Reich, JD, MA, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, who is now on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, provided the keynote address for the event.

Though the entire summit was focused on health care staffing needs for all allied health professions, Dr. Jackson’s panel looked specifically at “Hot Niches in Allied Health.”

Don DeCamp, COO of CHG Healthcare Services, Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, was Dr. Jackson’s counterpart in the panel discussion.

“We discussed which allied health professions will be in high demand in the next few years,” explains Dr. Jackson. “Physician assistants are the clear leaders at the present time.”

They also concluded that radiation technologists who specialize in advanced technologies used in areas like nuclear medicine, medical dosimetry, and imaging are in growing demand.

“The retiring ‘baby boomers’ are also influencing health trends in a major way,” he adds. “Their emphasis on living longer and better is increasing the demand for rehabilitation, nutrition and dietetics, and wellness professionals.”

Dr. Jackson quoted an interesting statistic gathered from the website of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“According to projections of the U.S. Census Bureau,” says Dr. Jackson, “the number of people turning 60 each day averages nearly 8,000—that’s more than 300 people an hour!”

Advancing technologies in the areas of health information management are also fueling an increased demand for privacy and security officers, as well as electronic patient consultants.

One problem encountered by the staffing industry is the lag time between a rising shortage of professionals in a particular area and the ability of the educational system to begin increasing the number of graduates to meet the rising need.

“There is a typical lag time of three to five years,” Dr. Jackson points out. “I see this as both a reason and an opportunity for the health care staffing industry and educational institutions like Loma Linda to stay in much closer contact.”

By Larry Kidder, MA

TODAY news for Thursday, October 19, 2006