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Ky. lawmaker plans to introduce another bill to tackle state’s health care worker shortage

Ky. lawmaker plans to introduce another bill to tackle state’s health care worker shortage
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 10:45 AM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - One priority for lawmakers for this session of the General Assembly is addressing the shortage of health care workers in the commonwealth.

From the beginning of the legislative session, everyone in Frankfort has seemingly acknowledged the shortages we have in health care. There are a number of bills in the works to address specific types of positions.

Thursday morning, another one was added to that list. Representative Kimberly Moser, R-Kenton County, introduced a bill that would help focus on supporting more community health workers.

“This is a step toward better health in Kentucky,” Rep. Moser said.

Moser says community health care workers serve as an essential go-between for people who need health services and the doctors who can provide those services.

“It creates a seamless process that improves social determinants and negative behaviors in health,” Rep. Moser said. “Put simply, this legislation expands community health worker programs statewide with the goal of creating a system of navigators that help improve a system of care.”

Rep. Moser and other speakers emphasized the importance of this linking role, especially when it comes to making sure underserved communities know the services they can get.

“Oftentimes, we’re translators, we’re tour guides, we are the link to get people to the services that they, thankfully, have access to they just need help actually getting to,” said community health worker Christina Libby.

Emily Beauregard, Kentucky Voices for Health executive director said, “Our health care system, we all know is incredibly fragmented. It’s too complicated, it’s hard to navigate…Community health care workers are there in your communities who you probably know as your neighbors. And they can help you navigate the system, simplify the process for you, connect you with a provider, explain your treatment plan and making sure that you’re really getting the care that you need.”

Representative Moser says that she plans on filing this bill sometime next week.

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