Alaska Primary Care Association
Workforce Development Programs Overview
APCA Workforce and Health Equity supports the “grow our own” workforce needs of Alaska health centers and a range of community-based care providers. Its programs train and upskill individuals, employ and place workers in health settings, and advocate for legislative and regulatory initiatives that allow health centers to recruit and retain a high-quality workforce.
APCA and health centers lead efforts to identify new healthcare workers, create pathways for advancement, support advanced health degree programs, and innovate to recruit and retain clinical providers.
Alaska health centers are local economic drivers in their communities which provide stable employment and indirect economic impacts that ripple out to employ thousands of additional Alaskans.
APCA and Alaska health centers focus on four initiatives to build Alaska’s healthcare workforce.
Pre-Apprenticeship Training in Healthcare (PATH) Academy
The PATH Academy is a two-week training program for Alaskans 16+ that helps participants complete certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and Mental Health First Aid. Participants also receive job readiness training, learn about employment opportunities within their community, and have access to job placement support.
The PATH Academy is free to participants and is held regularly in communities throughout Alaska.
Community Health Workers
Community Health Workers (CHWs) serve as a crucial bridge between patients and health centers. They aid in chronic disease management, improve access to behavioral healthcare, and act as patient advocates, connecting individuals to community services for better care outcomes and quality of life.
Registered Apprenticeship Programs
APCA and health centers lead in offering US Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Programs to develop and upskill healthcare staff. APCA provides no-cost apprenticeships (link to apprenticeships page) for Alaskans to “earn while they learn”.
Clinical Provider Recruiting And Retention
Alaska’s community health centers employ nearly 1,200 clinicians in various medical fields. Through partnerships with university, state, and federal partners, health centers support and advance workforce planning and readiness, recruiting, student loan repayment, in-house training, and retention programs.