PCC hosts HHS Secretary Becerra, Congressman Schrader and Governor Brown to chat health care
On Thursday, May 5, Portland Community College welcomed U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Congressman Kurt Schrader and Oregon Governor Kate Brown to a roundtable discussion focused on strengthening the health care worker pipeline.
The officials participated in a roundtable discussion about innovation and best practices to strengthen the health care workforce pipeline, as well as the importance of diversifying the health care workforce to better serve all communities. At the conclusion of the roundtable, the officials participated in a student-led tour of the medical imaging lab located on the Sylvania Campus.
The group had attended an event focused on mental health for Oregon’s youth earlier in the day.
“The past two years or so have shown that we need bold new investments, innovative ideas, and expanded opportunities to address these issues head on,” Rep. Schrader said. “I appreciate today’s productive conversations and look forward to working with the Administration, my colleagues in Congress, and state and local leaders to deliver results and build on the progress we have made here in Oregon.”
PCC President Mark Mitsui, and healthcare students Erica Mccurty and Utahana Rosales represented PCC at the event. Both students talked about challenges related to finding resources for their training and lack of access in overall healthcare education.
“We applaud Secretary Becerra, Congressman Schrader, Governor Brown for their leadership in working to address the healthcare workforce pipeline,” Mitsui said. “Oregon, like so many states, is facing staff shortages, and we look forward to building further upon our partnerships through the college’s healthcare programs, which provide our students with pathways to in-demand careers with living wages. These include Nursing, Medical Imaging, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Health Information Management, EMT, Paramedic, Ophthalmic Medical Tech, Phlebotomy, Patient Access Specialist, Surgical Tech, Vet Tech among other interprofessional healthcare professions.”
Becerra’s visit is big. He is the 25th Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the first Latino to hold the office in the history of the United States.